Treatment of Headaches,
Migraines and Head and Facial Pain
With Deep Nasal Nerve Block
80% OF SEVERE HEADACHES CAN BE CONTROLLED WITH A SIMPLE BUT UNDERUTILIZED THERAPY FOR PAIN CONTROL
In order to understand headaches and facial pain we must first understand the
anatomy of the head, nasal passages and the location of important nerve centers behind our throat.
The reason these nerves (the SPG) produce pain relief in remote parts of the body is still
poorly understood; however, looking at these nerve connections in the head, the SPG plays
a crucial role as an important dispatch center of the autonomic nervous system. The SPG receives
sensory inputs from other important nerve centers in the body. The nerve fibers coming from
the base of the brain pass through another nerve center that directly connects to the SPG and
is directly connected to a branch of the facial nerve.
The Sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) also called the nasal ganglion is the largest group of nerves
outside the area of the brain cavity. The SPG is located behind the nose and sinus area and near
the throat, and covered by a thin layer of connective tissue and mucous membrane.
Sphenopalatine ganglion block has been reported to be effective in the relief of a wide
variety of pain conditions ranging from headache to lower back pain. However, because many
of the medical studies concerning its application were published in the 1930s, the clinical
use of this therapeutic procedure, in my opinion, is much underutilized at present.
In this report, we would like to arouse the interest of the modern day practitioners in
the use of this nerve block procedure with a slightly modified technique, which makes the
practice more acceptable to patients.
Because the SPG nerve complex is connected, indirectly to cervical roots in the neck at
the C2, C3, and C4 levels. Therefore, it would not be unreasonable to postulate that pain
from the upper cervical spine (the neck vertebrae) can cause "referred" symptoms into the
head and facial area, and vice versa.Â This might explain why an SPG nerve block would
relieve headache, facial pain, pain in the neck and upper back.
The SPG can be blocked by using a topical anesthetic that is applied by using a cotton tip
applicator with a hollow handle that is saturated in a solution of 4% Lidocaine mixed with
Oxymetazoline HCl 0.05% (more commonly known as Afrin, an over the counter nasal spray).
The applicator is passed through the nostrils until it meets the wall of tissue which separates
the throat from the nasal passages. The applicator is pushed on to the tissue and the local
anesthetic is topically applied through the hollow handle of the applicator into the cotton
tip and left in place for about 45-60 minutes, which results in the desired nerve block.
The side effects of SPG nerve block are minimal, but do include allergy to Lidocaine which is
rare, irritation to the nose or scratchiness to the throat but these side effects rarely occur
when the procedure is performed by an expert. Â Because this procedure is so safe and easy and
because there is great utility and simplicity involved in this therapy, one cannot help but ask
why this simple, safe and effective treatment remains underutilized.Â This much neglected
pain therapy is a viable alternative to complex and risky procedures.Â If this procedure is
effective for you, there would be no need to silently suffer in a dark room or to poison your
body with toxic medications ever again.