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Nerve blocks in paediatric and adolescent headache disorders

Lambrinakos-Raymond, Kristen; Dubrovsky, Alexander Sasha

doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000687
NEUROLOGY: Edited by Robert C. Tasker

Purpose of review Headaches in children and adolescents are common, causing debilitating symptoms in many. Treatment of headache disorders can be complex and standard lifestyle changes as well as oral medications may offer inadequate relief. The purpose of this article is to review the mechanism of action, efficacy and technique of peripheral nerve blocks (PNBs) and the role they play in treating paediatric headache disorders.

Recent findings Evidence for the use of PNBs in youth is limited. However, available studies show evidence of benefit in both primary and secondary headache disorders. Variability exists in the type of block, medication choice, volume infused and frequency of this treatment. There are no serious side effects associated with PNBs.

Summary PNBs are well tolerated and effective as adjunctive therapy for many disabling paediatric headache disorders. The technique can be easily learned by frontline and specialty practitioners. Prospective placebo-controlled studies are needed to determine how to best maximize PNBs for headache management (i.e. medication choice, timing and so on).

Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Correspondence to Alexander Sasha Dubrovsky, 1001 boul. Decarie, Montreal, QC H3H 1P3, Canada. Tel: +1 514 412 4499; e-mail:

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