Get Rid of Your Migraines and Headaches with a Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block
Do you suffer from migraines and headaches? Do you feel like you have to put your life on hold for hours or days at a time while you wait for it to pass? Are you tired of taking a prescription medication?
What if I told you that many patients achieve migraine-free status for months at a time? It’s true. If you’d like that to be your story, keep reading.
A way to get rid of your migraines and headaches: with Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block (SPG)
What do you do when your electronics aren’t working? Conventional wisdom is to unplug it and plug it back in. The Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block is the same concept. The difference is that what is not working correctly in this scenario is your nervous system, and what you are unplugging and plugging back in is a ball of nerve cells called the Sphenopalatine Ganglion. The SPG block is a non-invasive, safe, no needles, minor office procedure that can take as little as 10 minutes – with patients getting up to six months of relief from headaches and migraines!
Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block (SPG) success stories for these types of headaches and migraines
We love hearing the stories pour in about the relief people are feeling from their headaches and migraines after receiving the Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block treatment. Some of the types of headache relief stories have come from patients with the following:
Post dural puncture migraines
Multiple Sclerosis migraine
The research is promising
SPG treatment for Acute Migraines
In a 2018 study done by researchers from Bahrain, they performed SPG blocks using the Sphenocath device on 55 patients with a moderate to severe acute migraine headache lasting between 4 and 72 hours. The patients were not responsive to abortive medications. After performing the SPG block, 71% of patients were utterly migraine-free at 15 minutes, 78% were migraine-free at 2 hours, and 70% were migraine-free at 24 hours. An additional 27%, 20%, and 22% reported that they had at least 50% relief.
SPG Treatment for Status Migrainosus (lasting more than 72 hours)
In 2019 a study done by USA researchers and published in the scientific journal Headache, SPG blocks were performed on 88 consecutive patients with a migraine attack lasting more than 72 hours who had already failed two or more abortive medications. The researchers found that, on average, patients experienced 67.2% relief from their migraine in 30 minutes. In this study, the patients received their SPG block with a needle injection, a much more invasive procedure than Dr. Smitherman performs with the Sphenocath device.
Chronic Migraine Relief with SPG
In 2015 researchers from Missouri published a study in the journal Headache, where they compared repetitive SPG blocks with an anesthetic vs. saline for chronic migraines. Twenty- eight patients in the anesthetic group received twice-weekly SPG blocks for six weeks. In this study, the anesthetic treatment group had fewer days with a headache, less average pain, less headache impact, and lower medication use than the saline group. This study supplied evidence on the effectiveness of the SPG block for chronic migraine sufferers.
Chronic Cluster Headache Treatment
In a 2017 study form a united team of researchers from Germany, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, and the United States, researchers performed sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation to patients over 24 months. The researchers found that the treatment patients had a “clinically relevant reduction of attack frequency.”
How does this quick and effective headache and migraine treatment work?
- The patient lays on their back
- We apply a numbing cream to the patient’s nostril
- Dr. Smitherman inserts a specially designed catheter into the nasal cavity, placing it in a very specific position.
- An anesthetic called 2% lidocaine gets pushed through the catheter into the back of the nasal cavity, where it pools in a cup-shaped area.
- The lidocaine drains from the cup-shaped area along a canal that leads to the sphenopalatine ganglion
- When the lidocaine arrives, it numbs the sphenopalatine ganglion and gives it a reset. In essence, unplugging and resetting a part of your nervous system that can result in significant headache and migraine relief.
Can I get an SPG block while on my other medications?
Yes. There are typically no interactions with SPG and migraine medications. Each patient is evaluated on an individual basis by Dr. Smitherman.
Does insurance cover the SPG Block?
Dr. Smitherman accepts many insurance plans. He will bill your insurance company for your office visit, and any trigger point injections given at the time of your appointment. However, insurance companies do not currently cover the SPG block.
If you think you could benefit from working with Dr. Smitherman a free 15 minute consultation with Dr. Smitherman.
- Binfalah M, Alghawi E, Shosha E, Alhilly A, Bakhiet M. Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block for the Treatment of Acute Migraine Headache. Pain Res Treat. 2018;2018:2516953. Published 2018 May 7. doi:10.1155/2018/2516953
- Mehta, D., Leary, MC., Yocoub, HA., El-Hunjul, M. et al. The Effects of Regional Anesthetic Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block on Self-Reported Pain in Patients with Status Migrainosus. Headache. 2019 Jan;59(1):69-76. doi: 10.1111/head.13390. Epub 2018 Jul 25.
- Cady, RK., Saper, J., Dexter, K., Cady, RJ., Manley, HR. Long-term efficacy of a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study for repetitive sphenopalatine blockade with bupivacaine vs. saline with the Tx360 device for treatment of chronic migraine. Headache. 2015 Apr;55(4):529-42. doi: 10.1111/head.12546. Epub 2015 Mar 31.
- Jurgens, TP., Barloese, M., May, A., Lainez, JM., Schoenen, J., Gaul, C., Goodman, AM., Caparso, A., Jensen, RH., Long Term effectiveness of sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation for cluster headache. Cephalagia 2017 Apr;37(5):423-434. doi: 10.1177/0333102416649092. Epub 2016 May 9.