Sinus pain and sinus headaches are rarely due to sinus infections. Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks can give almost immediate relief of sinus pain.
The sinuses are innervated by the Trigeminal Nervous System which is also responsible for headaches, migraines and Trigeminal Neuralgia. ENT’s are excellent at knowing when to refer to trained dentists to treat sinus and ear pain not related to true otolaryngological causes.
The lining of the sinuses are innervated by the maxillary division of the Trigeminal Nerve. Diagnostic blocking of the Trigeminal Nerve is easy for a trained dentist which can confirm underlying cause of pain. These same nerves are frequently blocked for dental procedures.
The Sphenopalatine Ganglion was first blocked by an Otolaryngologist Dr Greenfield Sluder in 1908. The severe pain patients were experiencing would almost instantly resolve with nasal administration of Cocaine solution. Cocaine is rarely utilized today as local anesthetics like lidocaine are extremely successful.
Dr Sluder treated Sluder’s Neuralgia or Sphenopalatine Ganglion Neuralgia which today most clinicians believe was Cluster Headaches and/or TMJ Disorders.
Dr Sluder later became the head of the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Severe headaches and migraines are treated with a wide variety of prescription medications, physical therapy, chiropractic and other natural remedies. OTC medications like Excedrine and Excedrine Migraine, Advil, Tylenol and creams and salves can all be useful but relief comes in hours.
Emergency room care and treatment at physicians offices can often give almost immediate relief utilizing powerful injection medications. The time from onset until relief is still usually measured in hours after including travel and wait times.
ER doctors and neurologists often utilize Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks to turn off severe pain from headaches and migraines. The most common approach is transnasal administration of anesthetic thru a nasal catheter, either a Sphenocath or TX360.
This is an excellent approach but still requires a trip to the ER or physician’s office.
SASPGB or Self-Administered SPG Blocks are the fastest relief available for these types of pain. Patients learn how to administer these blocks and can actually stop headaches in just a few minutes.
Self-Administration also allows patient to use SPG Blocks Prophylactically.
Dr Shapira has been teaching patients to Self-Administer SPG Blocks since the 1980’s. He teaches patients to administer the blocks with Cotton-Tipped Catheters and 2% Lidocaine.
This approach allows patients to experience relief in minutes instead of hours and the blocks are compatible with any of the other treatments mentioned.
The blocks work on the autonomic nervous system and are also effective for cluster headaches and other Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalgias.
The cost of Sphenopalatine ganglion blocks in the ER or a physicians office can run into thousands of dollars. Patients who have learned to Self-Administer SPG Blocks will spend about $1.00 per bilateral application.
The Self-Administered Blocks can be utilized prophylactically and also can decrease anxiety and other stress related issues.