Vasomotor Rhinitis and Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block
Originally published on ThinkBetter Life Dr Shapira’s website
Watery rhinorrhea that is easily triggered can be incredibly annoying as the nose apparently runs freely for no reason. Additionally, the symptom of watery rhinorrhea can triggered by hot/spicy food, cold air, and especially by cycling even in not so cold air. Bikers can find this symptom extremely annoying as can long distance runners, skiers, and rollerbladers.
Response to therapy (antihistamines, topical corticosteroids) is often very poor, Atrovent used nasally can reduce symptoms but may cause nosebleeds. Many patients are unhappy with how they feel on these drugs or find they get more frequent infections with corticosteroids.
There is a paper indicating that a relatively simple procedure of blocking certain nerves (the SPG) may be helpful: The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management paper on “Vasomotor Rhinitis and Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block” See Abstract below.
I utilize SPG blocks for tension headaches, migraines, is typically cluster headaches and other autonomic cephalgias, anxiety, depression and for autonomic pain and sympathetically maintained bain as seen in RSD or CRPS. Patients with high stress and TMJ issues have major reductions in Axis 2 symptoms with SPG Block as it positively affects Limbic System including Hypothalamus, Pituitary and Adrenals (HPA)
While I usually do not utilize SPG Blocks primarily for Vasomotor Rhinitis many patients report improvement. We also see tremendous improvements in many patients with chronic sinus issues and allergies where there is marked reduction in mucous produced, frequent sinus drainage and improvement with breathing and sense of smell, reductions in post nasal drip.
I originally started doing SPG Blocks after a patient brought me a copy of the book “Miracles on Park Avenue”. I learned form Dr Jack Haden how to do the blocks by injection or nasally. I have taught hundreds of physicians and dentist the procedure over the years but more importantly I teach patients to self-administer sphenopalatine ganglion blocks that can be totally life changing.
There are numerous patient videos about SPG Blocks on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/SPGBlocks/
and on my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk9Bfz6pklC7_UluWFHzLrg/featured
Additional information about the blocks is available on www.sphenopalatineganglionblocks.com
J Pain Symptom Manage. 1997 Jun;13(6):332-8.
Vasomotor rhinitis and sphenopalatine ganglion block.
Prasanna A1, Murthy PS.
The effectiveness of the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) block for the relief of symptoms in chronic vasomotor rhinitis was assessed in 30 patients of both genders. The number of blocks required for complete relief was three (range from two to four) at weekly intervals in 66.7% of volunteers. There was no recurrence of symptoms during a follow-up period of 12-20 months in 29 patients, and one patient was symptom free for 8 months. The technique is simple and can be performed as an outpatient procedure without side effects.