How do you find a specialist who does Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks?
The Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block (SPG Block) has been known for over 100 years but less than 1% of doctors are familiar with its use currently. How does a patient find a specialist or general practitioner who utilizes these miraculous blocks? There are many groups utilizing these including neurologists, ENTs, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Physiologic Dentists are among doctors who utilize these blocks.
Doctors who treat TMJ Disorders, Orofacial Pain, CranioFacial Pain probably are most familiar with these techniques.
A second question is what is the best method of administering a SPG Block?
There are numerous approaches including:
An intraoral injection thru the Greater Palatine canal, this is a technique that would most likely be used by a Dentist rather than a physician.
An Extraoral injection can be done from a lateral approach or a Supra-Zygomatic approach. Both are effective but the Suprazygomatic is probably the easiest. This is sometimes done by fluoroscopic imaging but in most cases can be done without fluoroscopy that creates additional costs and radiation exposure,
The Intranasal approach can be done with several devices including the Sphenocath (I give that the highest rating) a TX360 that is more difficult to utilize and an Allevio. This utilizes a Squirt Gun approach and the patient should stay supine for 20-30 minutes after application.
My preferred method is with cotton covered catheter applicators that supply a continuous feed of anaesthetic but more importantly allows the patient freedom to move around freely while undergoing treatment. It also has the enormous benefit of allowing easy self administration by patients making it an incredibly cost effective treatment. After initial training a bilateral block can be done for about $1.00.
This approach can be difficult in some patients with severely deviated septums or very large turbinates.
Sphenopaltine Ganglion Blocks can give incredible relief to patients suffering from Fibromyalgia. This patient describes how 9 years of continuous pain was resolved almost immediately after nasal application of lidocaine to the sphenopalatine ganglion via nasal catheters.
Another question is the best anarethetic to utilize in SPG Blocks. My prefeered anaesthetic is 2% lidocaine initially with no epinephrine or preservatives but any anaesthetic can be used. Marcaine will provide increased anaesthetic time but is probably not necessary in the majority of patients.
I routinely teach patients to self administer SPG Blocks giving them control over their pain. Patients find it extremely convenient not to have to make constant visits to their physicians. The cost of self administration after the first visit is about $1.00 per application compared to costs in neurology offices of $650.00 to $900.00 per application.
Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks can offer Life Changing Results for many patients with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Daily Headache, Migraine, Cluster Headache, Chronic Sinus Headaches and tension headaches. Side effects include decreased anxiety and depression.