A new article in August 2020 in Womens Midlife Health “Cortical and subcortical changes following sphenopalatine ganglion blocks in chronic migraine with medication overuse headache: a preliminary longitudinal study.” looks at how Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) Blocks offer significant improvement in chronic migraine related to medication overuse headache.
It is well known the Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) Blocks are one of the most effective treatments of many types of headaches, Migraines, Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalgias and Sinus headaches. The reasons are easily understood on when certain facts are clearly understood:
1. Almost 100% of all headaches and Migraines are controlled by the fifth cranial nerve or the Trigeminal Nerve.
2. The Trigeminal Nerve is the largest of the 12 Cranial Nerves. The nerves of the trigeminal nerve are actually brain cells.
3. The Trigeminal Nerve accounts for over 50% of all input into the brain after amplification in the Reticular Activating System.
4. The trigeminal nerve controls the blood flow to the anterior 2/3 of the meninges of the brain.
5. There are 3 divisions of the Trigeminal Nerve. The maxillary Division passes through the foramen rotunda and into the Pterygopalatine Fossa. The fossa also contains the Sphenopalatine Ganglion which connects directly to the trigeminal nerve and the maxillary artery.
6. There is easy access to the Pterygopalatine Fossa through the nasal cavity. Local anesthetic can easily pass through the mucosa on the medial wall of the pterygopalatine fossa.
7. The Sphenopalatine Ganglion is the largest parasympathetic Ganglion of the head and also contains post-ganglionic sympathetic fibers from the Stellate Ganglion and the Sympathetic Cervical Chain
8. There is over 100 year history of safe and effective use of Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks to treat a wide variety of pain without negative side effects. First described by Dr Greenfield Sluder who later wrote the medical textbook Nasal Neurology
The article concluded that “….results suggest SPG block treatment is associated with significant symptom improvement as well as significant structural brain changes in regions known to be associated with migraine and chronic pain processing….”
This author asserts that the current best approach to treatment is the use of Self-Administered SPG Blocks with Cotton-Tipped Catheters or SASPGB. This allows the patient to utilize SPG blocks as needed to achieve fast relief and avoid ER visits.
Significant evidence exists that there is continual improvement over time with repetitive SPG Blocks. This is evidenced in the article by the presence of “measurable structural changes in the brain.”
The input into the H-P-A or Hypothalamus-Pituitary -Adrenal systems related to the Limbic System and its known input into headaches and migraines.
There are many amazing testimonials related to SPG Blocks. There was a a best selling book “Miracles on Park Avenue” on the NYC practice of Dr Milton Reder who only utilized SPG Blocks and had patient come from around the world for this treatment. This book kept SPG Blocks from becoming a victim of Forgotten Medicine.
Patient Testimonials for Self-Administered SPG Blocks (SASPGB) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5ERlVdJLdtllxAN1QwD7JU7Qo_ISoqvt