Dr. Shapira's Chicago Headache Blog

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks are an easy for patients to use to prevent migraine and relieve tension-type headaches

The Sphenopalatine ganglion block can be used to prevent and/or relieve headaches and Migraines. I have used it for many years in my office as an adjunct for treating headaches and migraines in patients. While it is not effective for all patients there is a subgroup that remarkable relief from pain and a second group that can stop a migraine before it becomes full blown.

The real beauty of SPG blocks is that they are simple and safe and I teach patients how to use them at home when they need them. The block is done with a Q-tip with lidocaine. The q-tip is gently place in the nostril until the lidocaine soaked cotton tip is adjacent to the SPG. This is left in place for 20-30 minutes. It ia also effective for some patients with cluster headaches and sinus headaches. The results for some patients are miraculous while other patients have minimal change in symptoms. Some patients who do not get relief from the SPG block can prevent migraines and chronic daily headache by regular use a a preventitve agent.

This uses only lidocaine and is extremely minimal to no risk if there is not a lidocaine allergy.

This is not replacement for treating the underlying causes of the pain with a neuromuscular orthotic but is a great adjunct durng treatment and for those patients who do not get complete relief.

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posted by Dr Shapira at 9:04 PM

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