This is the Pubmed abstract of Dr Shapira’s new paper on the autonomic nervous system. It explaine the effectiveness of neuromuscular dentistry iin treating all manner of head and neck pain including TMJ disorders, headache, migraine, Cluster headache and otheer disordrs related to thee trigeminal nerve.
Cranio. 2019 May;37(3):201-206. doi: 10.1080/08869634.2019.1592807.
Neuromuscular dentistry and the role of the autonomic nervous system: Sphenopalatine ganglion blocks and neuromodulation. An International College of Cranio Mandibular Orthopedics (ICCMO) position paper.
The Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) is known to play an integral role in the pathophysiology of a wide variety of orofacial pains involving the jaws, sinuses, eyes and the trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias. It supplies direct parasympathetic innervation to the trigeminal and facial nerves. Sympathetic innervation from the superior sympathetic chain passes thru the SPG to the trigeminal and facial nerves.This paper reviews relevant and significant literature on SPG Blocks and Neuromodulation published in peer reviewed medical and dental journals. Neuromuscular Dentistry employs ULF-TENS to relax musculature and simultaneously provide neuromodulation to the ganglion.Conclusion: The effects of ULF-TENS on the autonomic nervous system acts on the Limbic System and Hypothalamus (H-P-A) to address Axis II issues during neuromuscular dental procedures. It also directly affects the autonomic component of the trigeminal nerve involved in almost all headaches and migraines as well as the Myofascial and Joint disorders of TMD.
I am very pleased to be speaking on this topic at the Moscow ICCMO Meeting.
I have a paper on the Role of the
Sphenopalatine Ganglion and the use of SPG Blocks and Neuromodulation in Neuromuscular Dentistry Scheduled for publication in the May 2019 issue of Cranio, The Journal of CranioMandibular and Sleep Practice.
Visit my website dedicated to SPG Blocks. WWW.sphenopalatineganglionblocks.com
New article on Cluster Headache, The title is quoted from the article.
Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks have been used since 1908.
Amazingly safe and effective for wide range of disorders. Self-Administration makes SPG Blocks even more effective.
Abstract from PubMed:
Neurol Sci. 2019 Mar 16. doi: 10.1007/s10072-019-03796-5. [Epub ahead of print]
Cluster headache: crosspoint between otologists and neurologists-treatment of the sphenopalatine ganglion and systematic review.
Among cephalgias, cluster headache (CH) is the rarest and the most disabling, explaining the appellation of “suicide headache.” Up to 20% of chronic CH reveals to be resistant to pharmacological treatments, in which case interventional procedures should be considered. Many reports evaluated invasive approaches and a wide strand of research is dedicated to the sphenopalatine ganglion. Our paper will now be focused on providing an overview on modern applications on the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), their outcomes, and their feasibility in terms of risks and benefits. The group reviewed the international literature systematically for procedures targeting the sphenopalatine ganglion and its branches for episodic and chronic CH, including block, stimulation, radiofrequency, stereotactic radiosurgery, and vidian neurectomy. Seventeen articles fixed our inclusion criteria.********************* Comparing the outcomes that have been analyzed, it is possible to notice how the most successful procedure for the treatment of refractory chronic and episodic CH is the SPG block, which reaches respectively 76.5% and 87% of efficacy. *******************************Radiofrequency has a wide range of outcomes, from 33 to 70.3% in CCH. Stimulation of SPG only achieved up to 55% of outcomes in significant reduction in attack frequency in CCH and 71% in ECH. Radiosurgery and vidian neurectomy on SPG have also been analyzed. Generally, ECH patients show better response to standard medical therapies; nevertheless, even this more manageable condition may sometimes benefit from interventional therapies mostly reserved for CCH. First results seem promising and considering the low frequency of side effects or complications, we should think of expanding the indications of the procedures also to those conditions. Outcomes certainly suggest that further studies are necessary in order to understand which method is the most effective and with less side effects. Placebo-controlled studies would be pivotal, and tight collaboration between neurologists and otorhinolaryngologists should also be central in order to give correct indications, which allow us to expect procedures on the SPG to be an effective and mostly safe method to control either refractory ECH or CCH.
Among cephalgias, cluster headache (CH) is the rarest and the most disabling, explaining the appellation of “suicide headache.” Up to 20% of chronic CH reveals to be resistant to pharmacological treatments, in which case interventional procedures should be considered. Many reports evaluated invasive approaches and a wide strand of research is dedicated to the sphenopalatine ganglion. Our paper will now be focused on providing an overview on modern applications on the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), their outcomes, and their feasibility in terms of risks and benefits. The group reviewed the international literature systematically for procedures targeting the sphenopalatine ganglion and its branches for episodic and chronic CH, including block, stimulation, radiofrequency, stereotactic radiosurgery, and vidian neurectomy. Seventeen articles fixed our inclusion criteria. Comparing the outcomes that have been analyzed, it is possible to notice how the most successful procedure for the treatment of refractory chronic and episodic CH is the SPG block, which reaches respectively 76.5% and 87% of efficacy. Radiofrequency has a wide range of outcomes, from 33 to 70.3% in CCH. Stimulation of SPG only achieved up to 55% of outcomes in significant reduction in attack frequency in CCH and 71% in ECH. Radiosurgery and vidian neurectomy on SPG have also been analyzed. Generally, ECH patients show better response to standard medical therapies; nevertheless, even this more manageable condition may sometimes benefit from interventional therapies mostly reserved for CCH. First results seem promising and considering the low frequency of side effects or complications, we should think of expanding the indications of the procedures also to those conditions. Outcomes certainly suggest that further studies are necessary in order to understand which method is the most effective and with less side effects. Placebo-controlled studies would be pivotal, and tight collaboration between neurologists and otorhinolaryngologists should also be central in order to give correct indications, which allow us to expect procedures on the SPG to be an effective and mostly safe method to control either refractory ECH or CCH.
Ira L Shapira DDS, D,ABDSM, D,AAPM, FICCMO
Past Chair, Alliance of TMD Organizations
Diplomat, Academy of Integrative Pain Management
Diplomate, American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
Diplomate, American Board Sleep and Breathing
Regent, Master & Fellow, International College of CranioMandibular Orthopedics
Board Eligible, American Academy of CranioFacial Pain
Dental Section Editor, Sleep & Health Journal
Member Cranio Editorial Board, Journal of Craniomandibular and Sleep Practice
Member, American Equilibration Society
Member, Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences
Member, Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
Life Member, American Dental Association
Anxiety and Stress problems are very common among patients with TMJ disorders. \II have trained many neuromuscular dentists in the use of Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks.
Sympathetic overload is common in a host of medical issues made worse by stress. The Sympathetic nervous system controls the “Fight or Flight” reflex. While this reflex can be a lifesaver in some dangerous circumstances it can often become destructive when it goes into overdrive and causes Phobias and Social Anxiety.
The Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) is the largest Parasympathetic Ganglion of the cranium but just as important for patients with phobias and social anxiety is the Sympathetic nerves of the Superior Sympathetic Chain also pass thru the ganglion.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is a condition where “normal” social interactions cause severe and seemingly irrational anxiety. This disorder can last for years or even an entire lifetime. Social Anxiety Disorder may seem irrational but may have originally been triggered by a single event or series of events where the Sympathetic nervous system triggered changes in the victim’s brain that repeatedly cause the Sympathetic Nervous System to act explosively during everyday social interactions resulting in irrational anxiety, fear, embarrassment, and extreme self-consciousness.
Social Anxiety like other phobias can be a learned response that appears to be irrational when the original triggers are forgotten or repressed by the brain. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Social anxiety and Social Anxiety Disorder differ from PTSD because the memory of the precipitating events is lost but the reaction of the autonomic nervous system still responds to those forgotten or hidden memories. Sufferers exhibit avoidance of situations that bring back autonomic symptoms experienced from the trauma.
The physical and mental responses have a primarily autonomic nervous system foundation. Turning off the autonomic “Fight or Flight” Sympathetic reflex can be life-changing. Many medications have been utilized over the years to help patients deal with these symptoms. Propanolol (Inderal) is a Beta Blocker that has been utilized to help people overcome this reaction.
Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks are utilized for treating a wide spectrum of pain disorders. Originally described in 1909 by Greenfield Sluder for treating Sluder’s Neuralgia (sphenopalatine neuralgia). The Sphenopalatine (Pterygopalatine) Ganglion Block was the subject of a 1930 article, “SPHENOPALATIINE PHENOMENA” in the Annals of Internal Medicine (JAMA) BY Hiram Byrd MD which looked at 10,000 blocks in 2000 patients for a wide variety of medical disorders.
Greenfield Sluder later wrote a medical textbook “Nasal Neurology” which covered the topic in great detail. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical age arrived and this amazing block became part of “Forgotten Medicine” had it not been for a 1986 popular book “Miracles on Park Avenue” which detailed the medical practice of Dr Milton Reder an octogenarian ENT in New York City who treated thousands of patients from around the world with only Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) Blocks.
I have been utilizing these “Miracle Blocks” since 1986 after a patient gave me a copy of that book and asked me to find someone in Chicago who did SPG Blocks. There were no doctors anywhere in Illinois or Wisconsin utilizing these blocks but a friend who also treated TMJ disorders, Dr Jack Haden in Kansas City knew how to perform SPG blocks and I learned the technique from him.
I initially utilized the blocks to treat patients in my office in a manner similar to Dr Milton Reder but eventually began to teach my patients how to self administer the blocks with cotton-tipped nasal catheters. Originally, I utilized a 10% cocaine solution but switched to lidocaine over 30 years ago. Lidocaine was extremely safe and made self-administration practical.
Self-Administration is key to successful use of SPG Blocks for treating phobias and Social Anxiety because it puts the patient in control or turning off the “Fight or Flight” Sympathetic reflex and turning on the Parasympathetic reflexes, the ‘Feed and Breed” or “Eat and Digest” which turn off stress and turn on feelings of safety and calm. They are the same responses we feel when playing with puppies, kittens or babies.
SPG Blocks are considered a first-line treatment for Cluster headaches but are utilized for a wide variety of chronic headaches especially Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalgias, Tension Headaches, Chronic migraines of all types, Chronic eye pain, ear pain, sinus pain and throat pain. Recent studies have shown SPG Blocks can cure about 1/3 of essential hypertension cases. Cranio Journal will publish a new article I authored in it’s May 2019 Journal issue.
Treatment of PTSD, Phobias and Social Anxiety is multifaceted but Self-Administered SPG Blocks as an integrated part of the treatment will probably become a Standard of Care in the future.
The Stellate Ganglion (SGB) Block has been called “The God Block” and when used for shoulder pain has been shown to “Cure PTSD” with a single shot. The military is currently doing a multi-million dollar study to evaluate Stellate Ganglion Blocks for treating PTSD. The Stellate Gangliois a large Sympathetic Ganglion in the neck. It is also part of the Autonomic nervous system.
This website has the most extensive review of all published material on the subject of Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks available in a series of Blog posts.
DNA and RNA Appliance are used to Treat a wide variety of issues including TMJ disorders, Headaches, Migraines, Snoring and Sleep Apnea. Postural disorders to impaired breathing can be related to chronic head and neck pain and spread postural issues throughout the body.
It is vitally important for dentistry and medicine to address the development of airway issues that last a lifetime. I primarily work with older children, adolescents and adults in my practice. Children, even very young children receive the biggest benefit from expansion of airways. The DNA/RNA Appliance gives an important second chance to patients who did not properly develop as children. Adults can now be treated without orthognathic surgery, tongue reduction and other invasive procedures.
The DNA Appliances are changing the field or dental orthodontics from cosmetic shifting of teeth in available bone into the field of Epigenetic Orthopedics correcting problems that conventional orthodontics never addressed.
Orthodontics utilizing braces and brackets or plastic aligners as used by Invisalign, Smile Direct and other systems is about moving the teeth in the available bone to create a prettier smile and straighter teeth. Phased orthodontics in children has to a small extent embraced expansion of bone to create more space to straighten the teeth. Airway has only been minimally addressed by most of orthodontics.
There are many orthodontists who still practice “Contraction Orthodontics” also known as “Four on the Floor” or Bicuspid Extraction cases. The thought process is the you “Amputate” the teeth to make room in the mouth for all of the remaining teeth. This Contraction Orthodontics” makes the teeeth fit but crowds the tongue and impairs breathing.
Unfortunately, until recently the question of airway and ideal development of the jaws has not been addressed. There have been major changes in the last few hundred years to patterns of orofacial and cranial bone growth. These are negative epigenetic changes due to environmental issues including pollution, changes in how babies are fed and nurtured as new borns ant throughout their early lives. This has led to a massive problem of underdeveloped maxillas, mandiibles and airways.
I became involved in the early 1980’s in managing airway in adults by treating sleep apnea and snoring. I saw my son Billy had issues but when he was ready to start Kindergarten he was evaluated and I was told he had ADD, ADHD, could not start Kindergarten and needed to be on
Ritalin for life. You worry about your child’s when they cannot start kindergarten and I refused the diagnosis and took Billy to Rush Medical School for a sleep study. He had severe sleep apnea and we proceeded to have tonsils and adenoids removed and at 5 orthopedic expansion of hist maxilla. He had a tongue and lip tie corrected as well. He became a straight “A” student, went from 50% growth curve to 90% growth curve, slept well and mood was vastly improved. He graduated college double major, double minor Magna Cum Laude, His drug of choice was Oxygen not Ritalin. I became a Visiting Assistant Professor at Rush Medical School Sleep Center in 1985 and did research into similarities in jaw position in sleep apnea patients and TMJ patients.
Breast feeding is a major factor in the development of proper facial form. “Form follows function” is a truth in medicine and the changes in how babies are fed and nurtured has changed, which changes their development. These changes in growth and development affect airway and sleep, intelligence and learning and most importantly brain development and function and can lead to learning and behavioral disorders including ADD, ADHD and ODD. Many of these disorders are related to sleep disordered breathing including snoring, increased upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS), Respiratory effort related arousals (RERA) Hypopnea, Sleep Apnea.
The underdevelopment of the nasal oropharyngeal airway is the single biggest culprit and creates problems not just in infants, children and adolescents but also problems that last a lifetime. Sleep Apnea can cause issues with insulin resistance, memory loss and dementia, they cause a 300-600% increase in heart attacks and strokes as well as motor vehicle accidents, are implicated in hypertension, metabolic syndrome and obesity. Ideally a narrow airway is corrected before 8 years of age and it was thought expansion was limited if not impossible in adolescents and adults. The DNA Appliance has changed all that and expansion is possible throughout your life.
The DNA Appliance is an FDA approved orthodontic device that can often correct all of these issues. The RNA version of the
DNA Appliance is an FDA approved Sleep Apnea Appliance. Both the DNA and RNA Appliance utilize Epigenetic Orthopedics to grow larger airways and offer the possibility of curing sleep disordered breathing in all forms. The process of growing a larger airway has been called Pneumopedics by Dr David Singh who invented the DNA Appliance.
I will present several video testimonials of patients who have utilized the DNA/RNA Appliances. The first one is a patient experiencing major improvement in nasal breathing after just a few months of treatment. When the maxilla is expanded the roof of the mouth widens and high palates correct themselves flattening out. The hard palate is the roof of the mouth but that same bone is also the floor of the nose. With epigenetic expansion the cross section of the nose dramatically increases in both height and width. The expansion of the mouth makes more room for the tongue.
Nasal breathing increase the amount of Nitric Oxide the body produces which is the single most powerful antioxidant known. A Nobel prize has been given for work on Nitric oxide.
Sleep Apnea is a serious medical issue for millions of Americans. There are many treatments available to treat Sleep Apnea, the best known treatment is CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure which uses a compressor to deliver pressurized air through the nose and/or mouth through a mask. CPAP is extremely effective when it is used by patients but only about one in four patients prescribed CPAP actually use it on a regular basis. The 25% of patients who utilize CPAP is dwarfed in number by the 60% of patients who reject or fail CPAP completely. Approximately 15% try to manage CPAP but do poorly. Success is not the norm with CPAP in spite of the fact that it is extremely effective when used and is considered the “Gold Standard” of treatment.
The primary reason patients don’t use CPAP is that they “Hate CPAP”. Oral Appliances are also extremely successful at treating Sleep Apnea and are considered a first line approach for mild to moderate sleep apnea and an alternative to CPAP for severe sleep apnea. They are under prescribed primarily due ignorance in the medical community about effectiveness. CPAP is a billion dollar industry that has tremendous monetary power and thee makers of CPAP machines also make much of the diagnostic instrumentation for sleep.
The website https://www.IHATECPAP.com is an excellent resource to learn more about Sleep Apnea diagnosis and treatment. The name of the website is from patients who when asked why the wanted an oral appliance would commonly reply “I HATE CPAP!”
The following is a video of a physician describing his experience with an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea. Many physicians choose not to utilize CPAP but rather a comfortable oral appliance. Oral Appliances are excellent for managing Sleep Apnea but the DNA/RNA Appliances offer a “CURE”! Patients with sleep apnea must have their sleep apnea treated but it can be managed for a lifetime without negative consequences.
The following video is a physician whose life was affected by her sleep apnea and who chose to seek a cure for her apnea rather than just a treatment. She has not completed treatment at the time this video was made. Prior to treatment she was living in a state of exhaustion. The RNA Appliance is acting as both a sleep appliance and is growing her airway orthopedically. When the DNA/RNA Appliance is used to cure sleep apnea it actually results in a 24/7 improvement in airway not just a correction during sleep. This patient discusses oral Myofunctional Therapy which can aid in expansion and ideally should be utilized in every single orthodontic treatment. More important pediatric dentists and physicians should learn to be aware of these developmental issues and address them as soon as possible to prevent future issues. In retrospect, my son would have been far better off having his airway issues treated far earlier. Brain development is changed by sleep apnea even in infants and very young children.
TMJ Disorders, Chronic Headaches and Migraines and other types of Orofacial pain are often associated with airway issues. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute published a report “The cardiovascular and sleep related consequences of TMJ disorders” The NHLBI of the NIH considers Sleep Apnea to be a TMJ disorder. The DNA Appliance is often utilized as a second phase of treatment for patients with TMD. The following is a patient who has lived her entire life with an underdeveloped maxilla and is using the DNA/RNA appliance to pneumopedically grow a larger airway and orthopedically grow her maxilla in order to treat her TMJ disorder. While she is still early in treatment she feels that her TMJ disorder has been cured. Her lower jaw (mandible) was locked in a posterior position and maxillary expansion has given it freedom to move forward and relieve abnormal pressure in the TM Joints
The next video is a patient who has lived with chronic head and neck pain for many years and initially was treated with a neuromuscular dental orthotic and is now utilizing the DNA Appliance to complete her treatment (Phase 2 ). She describes a wide variety of improvements after wearing the DNA Appliance for a couple of months. When you breathe better and correct airway issues it has positive effects throughout the entire body.
The next video is a patient who has had a lifetime of sinus issues and TMJ issues. While here TMJ issues were dealt with her small airway would create a less stable result and relapse. The DNA Appliance is being utilized to increase her airway and led to dramatic improvements in he sinus issues. Listen as she discusses how improved breathing is improving all aspects of her life.
Shimshak et al published a paper in Cranio Journal in 1998 looking at medical expenses in patients with TMJ disorders and found that there was a 300% increase in medical expenses in every single field of medicine. We now know that sleep and airway are very closely related and that the increase in medical expenses has many causes but treatment with the DNA Appliance addresses a wide spectrum of these issues. I wrote an article for Cranio Journal in 2013. The full ediitorial can be found at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1179/crn.2013.001?needAccess=true. I was asked to write this editorial by Riley Lunn tthe editor of
Cranio Journal because I had been treating sleep and airway issues since 1982 long before most of medicine or dentistry ever looked at airway and sleep apnea.
TMJ Alias, The Great Imposter, Has a Co-Conspirator: Poor Sleep
The next patient is much younger and his parents who are both Chiropractors brought him in to address airway issues that were leading to forward head posture and was affecting his posture in his entire body. Chiropractors are very aware of how head and jaw position affect the entire body.
The DNA Appliance is giving three dimensional expansion and there is a cascade of positive outcomes that occur as airway improves.
The next video is of Lewis who is now utilizing his RNA Appliance instead of CPAP while he is growing a larger airway. He appreciates being able to go camping with his appliance, something he could not do with CPAP.His teeeth have straightened out and he has a bigger better lower jaw.
The DNA and RNA Appliance utilize Epigenetic Orthodontics which is the single most exciting advancement in dentistry today. While it is called epigenetic orthodontics a more accurate name would be epigenetic orthopedics because it actually grows and reshapes and idealizes the bone rather than just move the teeth. This is far different than typical orthodontics.
This technological advances of the Vivos System allows us to comfortably create (grow) big wide healthy looking smiles even in patients with narrow arches. Patients with weak chins and poor profiles can see improvements often even early in treatment. In an ideal world every patient would naturally have developed big wide healthy arches with resultant large airways and enough room for their lower jaw to grow ideally.
One very special aspect of utilizing the DNA Appliance and Epigenetic Orthodontics is that the appliances are only worn for 14-16 hours per day. This is very different that standard orthodontics with brackets and wire or Invisalign®. Most of the wear can be done in your sleep, watching TV or commuting. During the day at work or with friends you can be free of the appliance. This is one of the special features patients love about the DNA Appliance, the convenient fit into your lifestyle.
The time when the appliances are out the teeth move to ideal position as nature and/or genes intended.
Typical orthodontics is a four-step process designed to move teeth through the bone. The first step is FORCE that creates PRESSURE (1) that compresses the periodontal ligament and puts pressure on the bone. The second step is INFLAMATION (2) which is associated with pain and discomfort. The third step which is RESORBTION (3) which is breaking down the bone by osteoclasts to create space. The fourth step is CONSOLIDATION (4) where new bone is formed. The process is then repeated after every orthodontic visit when braces are tightened or with each new Invisalign® tray.
Epigenetic Orthodontics is very different because it is a two step process. The forces are very light and movement is limited to 250 microns approximately every four days. The light forces are applied and growth and movement occur without inflammation which makes the entire process practically pain free. If there is any discomfort the adjustments are spaced out further.
Relapse is frequently a problem with orthodontics after orthodontists have used fixed braces to straighten crooked teeth. Relapse is the teeth moving back to their original position and relapse is why orthodontists make retainers. The reason for relapse is complex and not well understood. The hours when the appliance is out let the teeth follow natural eruption processes with far lower risks of relapse.
According to Dr. Dave Singh the Founder of the field of pneumopedics and craniofacial epigenetics which includes epigenetic orthodontics “there is a natural way for the body to remodel the upper airway, reshape bone and move teeth into their correct positions painlessly without the use of surgery, drugs or injections.”
Professor G. Dave Singh DDSc, PhD, BDS states on his website: “However, the entire human genome has now been sequenced, and we now know that certain genes are involved in moving teeth. Teeth are naturally-designed to move, for example, tooth eruption in a normally-growing child. In addition, the teeth in some people erupt in a specific arrangement, producing a beautiful smile. Dr Singh believes that the specific arrangement of teeth is due to certain genes. In fact, a natural process called ‘temporo-spatial patterning’ is at work. This process is the blueprint or body plan that is encoded by genes. In other words, the right and left sides of the body, the top and bottom of the body as well as the front and back of the entire body is under the control of a genetic body plan, including the teeth. Sometimes, however, the plan gets disturbed, producing crooked teeth and improper orthopedics.”:
Getting Older or Getting Better™. THE CHOICE IS YOURS! Come in and find out what is possible.
The Vivos DNA Appliance allows us to grow and develop a more ideal facial structure and a healthier airway.
Dr. Shapira has long had a special interest in developmental processes because of his work with sleep apnea in children and adults. Dr Shapira also has over 38 years experience in treating difficult TMJ Disorders, Migraines, headaches and other Chronic Pain. When these processes go are disturbed it changes how people breathe and swallow. Young children are frequently put in expanders to expand their maxilla or upper jaw. This is needed because of negative epigenetic changes caused by environmental allergies, food allergies or disturbed growth from insufficient breast feeding and bottle feeding.
Dr. Shapira, has taught classes to hundreds of dentists and their teams on how to treat sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. It is one of Dr. Shapira’s students Dr .Martha Cortes who first introduced him to Dr Singh and to this exciting new field.
Dr Shapira has studied this field extensively and in 2014 gave a lecture in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the “Common Developmental Pathways of TMJ Disorders and Sleep Apnea.” These pathways are an example of negative environmental effects on development that can be reversed in adults who were not expanded as children. Prior to the DNA Appliance only extensive orthognathic surgery was available to widen or move bone.
Faces are different and each and every one of us is unique. Our appearance and physiology is determined by our DNA or genes. Genes determine our physiology and everything else about us. This is a description of Genetics
What many people are not aware of is that the environment and other factors can change how our genes express themselves. These types of changes are called Epigenetic changes.
Each person has a unique Genotype, these are the genes we inherited from our parents that when combined created a unique and special person. Identical twins actually share a identical DNA .
The Phenotype is how are Genes are expressed, the effects of the environment on us. These are the epigenetic changes that can be positive or negative in nature. This can be the difference between a big wide smile that shows all the teeth
What makes the DNA Appliance special is that it uses the patient’s own genes to modify and change not just the position of the teeth but the size, shape and position of the bone that holds the teeth as well as Pneumopedically change the size and shape of the airway. This 3-D spatial reconfiguring of the teeth and bone can make amazing changes not just in the teeth but in the face as well. The changes the DNA Appliance stimulates mimic the natural developmental process that occur in an ideal world. Biomimetic is the term used to describe what the DNA Appliance accomplishes, it mimics through biologic means what an ideal environment would have developed.
Oral appliances are frequently worn as a comfortable alternative to CPAP to manage snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. These appliances often protrude the lower jaw and are needed for life. Pneumopedics® is a term coined by Dr Singh to describe non-surgical upper airway remodeling is a different approach because instead of merely repositioning the lower jaw during sleep it gently allows allows the body to gently and gradually orthopedically increase the size of the upper jaw and increase the nasal airway. This has been shown in some clinical cases to create a cure for sleep apnea and snoring. The FDA-registered Daytime-Nighttime Appliance® system (or DNA appliance®) is worn during the evening and night for a total of 14-16 hours/day
Patients who are CPAP intolerant can utilize the FDA-cleared, patented mandibular Repositioning-Nighttime Appliance® (or mRNA appliance®) which works to maintain an open airway in the fashion of sleep apnea oral while gently re-developing the upper airway and moving the mandible or lower jaw and the teeth into a more natural position.
The DNA appliance® and mRNA appliance® protocols can effectively address TMD issues and headaches in both adults and children. Dr Shapira is a leader in the use of the DNA Appliance to finish phase two treatment in TMD patients.
TMJ disorders have been called “The Great Imposter” because they can masquerade as many different types of problems and are usually misdiagnosed multiple times before being identified.. Most physicians other than ENT’s know very little about TMJ Disorders (TMD) .
Chronic Sinus Headache and other Sinus Pains are closely related to TMJ Disorders. The connections between these problems is multifacted.
The Trigeminal Nerve also called the Dentist’s Nerve is the underlying common source of all of these problems.
Dentists are the experts on the Trigeminal Nerrve Disorders and in particular neuromuscular dentists who optimize eliminating noxious input to the trigeminal system. The term “TMJ: The Great Imposter” was coinded because patients with TMJ disorders frequently report symptoms not specifically related to the joints.
Dentists who practice TMD and Neuromuscular Dentistry are well versed in Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction or MPD as it relates to upper body, head neck and facial pain referred from active myofascial trigger points.
The Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG), the largest parasympathetic ganglion in the head is on the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve. I have taught hundreds of neuromuscular dentists both from the USA and from across the world how to utilize SPG Blocks as part of Neuromuscular Treatment.
The Sphenopalatine Ganglion also contains Sympathetic fibers of superior cervical change responsible for “Fight or Flight” reflex and when not controlled create a wide variety of stress, pain and emotional issues.
The Myomonitor utilized by Neuromuscular Dentistry effectively neuromodulates the sympathetic and parasympathetic autonnomic input from the Trigeminal Nervous System.
The majority of sinus pain and sinus headache are NOT primary issues or infections within the sinuses. Antibiotics may actually create new sinus issues related to fungal infections.
Sinus pain and Headaches can be relieved with SPG Blocks very quickly.
Long term sinus improvements are related to function and structure. The following is a video of a patient who has experienced a cure of her lifetime sinus issues with DNA Appliance. Neuromuscular Dentistry treated her TMJ disorders and the DNA is used for long term stabilization and to increase the size of her airway.
There are over 150 additional videos on treatment of TMJ Disorders, Headaches, Migraines, MPD, Fibromyalgia, Sinus pain, Sleep Apnea and snoring mat this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk9Bfz6pklC7_UluWFHzLrg/videos
A new article published in 208 discusses utilization of Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks for treatment of Severe Migraine. Because it is published byty.the US National Library of Medicine of the National Institute of Health I can reprint it here.
I will make my personal comments in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. I ALSO FIND THAT SPG BLOCKS CAN TREAT MANY OTHER DISORDERS INCLUDING FIBROMYALGIA, NECK, BACK, TMJ DISORDERS, TMD AND SHOULDER PAINS.
SELF-ADMINISTRATION OF SPG BLOCKS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED BY ALL PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC HEAD AND NECK PAIN, CLUSTER HEADACHES, ACUTE MIGRAINES, SINUS PAIN, SINUS HEADACHE AND EYE PAIN. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT NEW PAIN SHOULD NOT BE EVALUATED BY APPROPRIATE PHYSICIANS AND SPECIALISTS.
INTRESTING NEW STUDIES HAVE SHOWN SPG BLOCKS ELIMINATING ESSENTIAL HYPERTENSION IN ONE THIRD OF PATIENTS.
Transnasal sphenopalatine ganglion (THE SPHENOPALATINE GANGLION IS ALSO KNOWN AS THE PTERYGOPALATINE GANGLION, MECKEL’S GANGLIO, THE NASAL GANGLION AND SLUDER’S GANGLION) block is emerging as is an attractive and effective treatment modality for acute migraine headaches, cluster headache, trigeminal neuralgia, and several other conditions. We assessed the efficacy and safety of this treatment using the Sphenocath® device. 55 patients with acute migraine headaches underwent this procedure, receiving 2 ml of 2% lidocaine in each nostril. (2% LIDOCAINE HAS ANTIINFLAMATORY PROPERTIES AND HAS VERY FAVORABLE SAFETY PROFILE) Pain numeric rating scale (baseline, 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours) and patient global impression of change (2 hours and 24 hours after treatment) were recorded. The majority of patients became headache-free at 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours after procedure (70.9%, 78.2%, and 70.4%, resp.). The rate of headache relief (50% or more reduction in headache intensity) was 27.3% at 15 minutes, 20% at 2 hours, and 22.2% at 24 hours. The mean pain numeric rating scale decreased significantly at 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours, respectively. Most patients rated the results as very good or good. The procedure was well-tolerated with few adverse events. This treatment is emerging as an effective and safe option for management of acute migraine attacks. THE EXCELLENT AND RAPID RESPONSE IS EXTREMELY FAVORABLE HOWEVER PATIENTS MUST GO TO THE EMERGENCY DE3PARTMENT OR PHYSICIANS OFFICE TO BE TREATED. A BETTER APPROACH IS TO TREAT THE PATIENTS TO SELF ADMINISTER THE BLOCKS TO STOP THE MIGRAINE EARLY OR PREVENT IT COMPLETELY IF THE BLOCK IS DONE DURING PRODROME.
THE SPHENOPALATINE GANGLION BLOCK WAS ORIGINALLY DESCRIBED BY SLUDER IN 1908. DR GREENFELD SLUDER WROTE A TEXTBOOK NASAL NEUROLOGY AND BECAME CHAIR OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY MEDICAL SCHOOL IN ST LOUIS.A A 930 ARTICLE IN THE ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE BY HIRAM BYRD MD REPORTED ON 10,000 BLOCKS ON 2000 SEPERATE PATIENTS WITH VIRTUALLY NO ADVERSE EFFECTS. UNFORTUNATELY, THE SPHENOPALATINE GANGLION BLOCK BECAME A VICTIM OF FORGOTTEN MEDICINE WHEN DRUG COMPANIES CREATED A STORM OF PHARMACEUTICALS. THE SAFETY PROFILE OF THESE DRUGS DO NOT APPROACH THAT OF SPG BLOCKS WITH 2% LIDOCAINE. A 1986 BOOK ‘MIRACLES ON PARK AVENUE” WAS PROBABLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE GRADUAL RESURGENCE OF THIS EXCELLENT TECHNIQUE. THE BOOK DESCRIBED THE NYC PAIN PRACTICE OF DR MILTON REDER AND ENT WHO UTILIZED ONLY SPG BLOCKS TO TREAT A WIDE VARIETY OF PAINFUL CONDITIONS REGARDLESS OF UNDERLYING DIAGNOSIS.
Migraine is a common primary headache disorder, causing significant disability and personal, societal, and financial burden (SELF ADMINISTRATION OF SPG BLOCKS CAN SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE COSTS IN TERMS OF EXPENSES, LOST WORK AND SUFFERING) . It is a highly prevalent condition, affecting 11% of adult population worldwide, including people of all ages, races, geographical areas, and income levels . Although there are currently many options for acute migraine treatment, such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), triptans, combinations analgesics, and antiemetics , these treatment options are often (MORE OFTEN THAN NOT) suboptimal, with inadequate efficacy and significant side effects [4, 5]. In addition, several studies [6–8] have shown that migraine patients with poor response to acute treatment are at increased risk for transformation to chronic migraine (CM) (SPG BLOCKS ARE ALSO EFFECTIVE AT TREATING CHRONIC MIGRAINE BUT EARLY INTERVENTION IS STILL THE BEST ROUTE) , with roughly 2.5-3.5-fold greater odds of developing CM ; patients with a moderate or better acute treatment efficacy did not have a significant increased risk. Therefore, there is a continuous need for new treatment modalities to address the therapeutic needs of migraine sufferers, especially those with frequent and disabling attacks .
Sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) block has gained interest as an effective treatment modality for migraine and other headache and facial pain syndromes . SPG, also known as the pterygopalatine ganglion (PPG), is a large extracranial parasympathetic ganglion (THE SPG IS THE LARGEST PARASYMPATHETIC GANGLION OF THE HEAD)with multiple neural connections (Figure 1), including autonomic, motor, and sensory [11, 12]. This complex neural structure is located deeply in the pterygopalatine fossa (PPF) posterior to the middle turbinate and maxillary sinus , on each side of the face. The parasympathetic preganglionic cell bodies originate in the superior salivatory nucleus in the pons, and the parasympathetic fibers run in the nervus intermedius (a branch from the facial nerve) through the geniculate ganglion, forming the greater petrosal nerve (GPN). The sympathetic fibers originate in the superior cervical ganglion (THE SYMPATHETIC FIBERS OF THE SUPERIOR CERVICAL SYMPATHETIC CHAIN ARE VERY IMPORTANT IN THE ABILITY OF THESE BLOCKS TO TURN OFF THE “FIGHT OR FLIGHT” REFLEX) around the internal carotid artery and give rise to the deep petrosal nerve, which joins the GPN to form the Vidian nerve, which enters the SPG. The sensory input to the SPG is via branches from the maxillary nerve, carrying sensations from the palate, buccal cavity, gingival, and tonsils .
Saggital view of the nasopharynx, showing the sphenopalatine ganglion and its neural connections. Reproduced with permission from Robbins et al. (2016) [under the Creative Commons Attribution License number 4318850197898 (Wiley).
The parasympathetic fibers synapse in the SPG and second-order neurons provide secretomotor function to the mucous membranes of nose, mouth, pharynx, and lacrimal glands, as well as branches to the meningeal and cerebral blood vessels [10, 12, 13]. The sympathetic fibers pass through the SPG without synapsing and provide innervations to the palate, nasal cavity, and pharynx.
As acute migraine attacks, as well as other primary headache disorders like cluster headache, are often associated with signs of parasympathetic activation, including lacrimation, nasal congestion, and conjunctival injection, blocking the SPG, which is the major parasympathetic outflow to the cranial and facial structures, is a reasonable target to help relief pain and autonomic features seen in these disorders . It is proposed that various migraine triggers activate brain areas related to superior salivatory nucleus, leading to stimulation of the trigemino-autonomic reflex. This results in increased parasympathetic outflow from the SPG, causing vasodilatation of cranial blood vessels that happens during migraine [10, 14], with the release of inflammatory mediators from blood vessels and activation of meningeal nociceptors, causing migraine pain [11, 14]. Another possible effect of SPG block is modulation of sensory processes in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis via the afferent sensory fibers, which may change pain processing center and reduce central sensitization to pain that is commonly seen in migraine [9, 10].
SPG blocks have been used for the treatment of headache since a long time . In 1908, Sluder described the use of transnasal SPG block using a long needle to inject cocaine, treating what was called Sluder’s neuralgia . The technique was further developed by Simon Ruskin , and in 1925 he used it to treat trigeminal neuralgia. Since then, the indications for SPG block have expanded to include cluster headache, migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, and many more [10, 17–19].
SPG blocks have been achieved with various techniques, including the use of lidocaine-soaked cotton tip applicator through the nose, transorally, transnasal endoscopic, infratemporal approach, and more recently using various noninvasive transnasal devices to inject anesthetics into the SPG .
The objective of this study is to assess the efficacy of SPG block, using the Sphenocath device, for the treatment of acute migraine headaches in the outpatient setting. We also report the safety of this novel technique for migraine treatment.
We conducted an open, uncontrolled, retrospective study in the neurology clinic at a university medical center. The patients were treated between March 2017 and September 2017. The study was approved by the institutional review board of University Medical Center at King Abdullah Medical City.
2.2. Study Population
The patients were recruited to the study if they were between 18 and 60 years of age, have been diagnosed with migraine headache according to International Classification of Headache Disorders-3 Beta  since at least one year, and present with moderate to severe headache lasting between 4 and 72 hours not responding to abortive medications. Patients with medication overuse headache, bleeding disorders, abnormal neurological examination, and history of allergy to local anesthetics were not included in the study. All patients gave an informed written consent.
2.3. Methods of Measurement
Pain was assessed using numeric rating scale (NRS), where 0 is no pain and 10 is worst pain imaginable; this was recorded at baseline, 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours after the procedure. We also recorded patient global impression of change (PGIC; very poor, poor, no change, good, and very good) at 2 hours and 24 hours after procedure.
2.4. Outcome Measures
The primary efficacy measure was the percentage of patients free of headache at 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours after the procedure. Secondary endpoints were
headache relief rate, defined as percentage of patients with 50% or more reduction in headache intensity at 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours;
change in NRS from baseline to 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours after treatment;
PGIC (effects on headache and its associated symptoms and tolerability) at 2 hours and 24 hours;
all adverse events up to 24 hours after procedure.
Statistical analysis was done using SPSS Statistics Version 23.
Prior to procedure, the nose was inspected for any obstruction, and xylometazoline 0.05% nasal drops( AFRIN NASAL SPRAY, OXYMETAZOLINE SPRAY IS EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE IN SHRINKING NASAL MUCOSAL TISSUES) ) (one drop in each nostril) were used to help open the nasal passages. Face temperature was recorded using temperature sensor skin probes put on both cheeks. A small amount of 2% lidocaine jelly was installed in each nostril for patients’ comfort, using a needless syringe. (AN ALTERNATIVE IS TO USE 2% LIDOCAINE IN A SPRAY FORM ONE MINUTE BEFORE PLACEMENT) Each patient received a single treatment of transnasal SPG block with 2 cc of 2% lidocaine in each nostril in the supine position with head extension, delivered using the Sphenocath device. (I UTILIZE PRIMARILY A COTTON-TIPPED NASAL CATHETER THAT ALLOWS CONTINUAL CAPILLARY FEED OF LIDOCAINE FOR MOST PATIENTS. I ALSO UTILIZE THE SPHENOCATH AND THE TX360 DEVICES IN MY OFFICE. THE ALLEVIO DEVICE IS SIMILAR TO THE SPHENOCATH DEVICE) This is a small flexible sheath with a curved tip (Figure 2). It is inserted through the anterior nasal passage parallel to nasal septum and above the middle turbinate. Once in place, the inner catheter is advanced to administer 2 cc of 2% lidocaine. It is then removed and the procedure is repeated on the other side. Typically after the block, there is an increase in face temperature by 1 to 2 degrees Celsius and/or tearing . The patient is instructed to remain in the same position for 10 minutes. GENERALLY THERE IS LESS DISCOMFORT WITH THE COTTON TIPPED CATHETER BUT IN SOME PATIENTS WITH DIFFICULT ACCESS I UTILIZE DEVICE DELIVERY.
55 patients received treatment with bilateral transnasal SPG blocks. 72.7% were females. The age range of patients was 19 to 58 years, with a mean age of 37.9 years. The baseline NRS range was 4 to 10, with a mean of 6.8. For the primary end point (headache freedom at 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours), the percentages were 70.9%, 78.2%, and 70.4%, respectively (Figure 3). Among the secondary efficacy measures, 27.3%, 20%, and 22.2% of patients reported headache relief at 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours after the procedure, respectively (Figure 3). THE RAPID RELIEF IS TYPICAL OF PATIENTS RECEIVING SPG BLOCKS REGARDLESS OF THE METHOD OF DELIVERY. THE COSTS OF THE DEVICES ARE HIGH APPROXIMATELY $75.00. I PREFER THE COTTON-TIPPED NASAL CATHETERS WHICH COST LESS THAN $1.00 PER BILATERAL APPLICATION. MORE IMPORTANT THEY ARE VERY EASY FOR MOST PATIENTS TO UTILIZE FOR SELF ADMINISTRATION AT HOME.
The percentage of patients reaching headache freedom (pain numeric rating scale 0) and patients with headache relief (50% or more reduction in headache intensity), at 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours.
The mean NRS scores decreased significantly from a baseline of 6.8 to 0.9, 0.6, and 0.8 at 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours after procedure, respectively (Figure 4).
The mean pain numeric rating scale at baseline and 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours after treatment, showing significant and sustained reduction in pain intensity.
Regarding PGIC, the majority of patients (98.1% at 2 hours, 98.1% at 24 hours) reported feeling very good or good (Figure 5). Only one patient reported “no change” in PGIC scale at 2 hours, but “very good” at 24 hours, and another patient rated her PGIC as “good” at 2 hours and “poor” at 24 hours due to return of headache which was slightly worse than before.
Patient global impression of change after the procedure at 2 hours and 24 hours. The majority of patients rated the treatment result as very good or good. PATIENTS SIMILARLY RATE RELIEF FROM TRANS-NASAL COTTON-TIPPED CATHETERS VERY HIGH.
Overall, the procedure was well-tolerated. Adverse events reported by the study population were mild (Figure 6), including transient throat numbness (100%), nausea (10.9%), dizziness (10.9%), vomiting (1.8%), nasal discomfort (18.2%), and worsening of preexisting headache (1.8%). These adverse events were transient and lasted less than 24 hours. I RARELY SEE ADVERSE REACTIONS THOUGH THERE IS LIMITED COMPLAINTS ABOUT TASTE AND THROAT NUMBNESS BUT BECAUSE OF THE SLOWER DELIVERY THIS IS LESS OF A PROBLEM. CHIEF COMPLAINT IS NASAL DISCOMFORT THAT CAN USUALLY BE ELIMINATED WITH AFRIN NASAL SPRAY AND LIDOCAINE SPRAY. THOSE SPRAYS.
This retrospective case series demonstrated that transnasal SPG block with 2% lidocaine, using the Sphenocath device, is an effective and safe treatment for acute migraine headaches. There was a rapid relief of headaches observed at 15 minutes and 2 hours, and treatment effect was sustained at 24 hours after procedure in most patients. 70.9%, 78.2%, and 70.9% of patients were completely headache-free at 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours, respectively, while further 27%, 20%, and 27% achieved 50% or more headache relief at 15 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours, respectively. The majority of study population reported either very good or good response on PGIC at 2 hours and 24 hours.
A number of studies were published over the years regarding SPG blockade in acute migraine, with variable results . Kudrow et al.  conducted a noncontrolled study in migraine patients using 4% intranasal lidocaine and showed that 12 out of 23 patients achieved complete headache relief, and the effect was sustained at 24 hours. Maizels and Geiger  evaluated the efficacy of 4% intranasal lidocaine as a treatment for acute migraine attacks, which was administered by the patient at home, in a double-blind, randomized controlled study. There was a significant reduction in headache severity at 15 minutes compared to placebo, but there was headache recurrence in 21% of patients receiving lidocaine.
Another placebo-controlled study compared outcomes for acute treatment of chronic migraine patients with intranasal 0.5% bupivacaine (n = 26) or saline (n = 12) using the Tx 360® device to block the SPG . The injection was given twice a week for 6 weeks. The trial revealed significant reduction in pain numeric rating scores in the bupivacaine group at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 24 hours after each treatment. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using intranasal bupivacaine or saline injections in patients presenting to the emergency department with acute frontal-based headache [specific classification was not required] demonstrated no significant difference in the proportion of patients achieving 50% or more headache relief at 15 minutes .
Other studies used different agents for SPG blockade. For example, Bratbak et al. used onabotulinum toxin A injections into the SPG in 10 patients with intractable chronic migraine in an open, uncontrolled study . This was done through a percutaneous infrazygomatic approach with a novel injection device. A statistically significant reduction of moderate and severe headaches was observed at 2 months after treatment; there were a total of 25 adverse events, mostly local discomfort, but none were classified as severe.
The SPG unique position in the PPF, as well as its multiple neural connections to sensory and autonomic systems involved in pain generation and propagation and the associated autonomic manifestations seen in many primary headache and facial pain syndromes, makes it a promising target for the treatment of these conditions. Inhibition of parasympathetic outflow from the SPG causes reduced activation of perivascular pain receptors in the cranial and meningeal blood vessels, with resultant reduction in the release of neuroinflammatory mediators (acetylcholine, nitric oxide, vasoactive intestinal peptide, substance P, and calcitonin gene-related peptide) from sensory fibers supplying the cranial and meningeal vasculature. This, in turn, reduces pain intensity and intracranial hypersensitivity observed in migraine .
In our study, SPG blockade produced a rapid relief of headache at 15 minutes, with a significant treatment effect observed at 24 hours and high patient satisfaction. In general, the treatment was well-tolerated. We recorded few adverse events, which were mild and transient, similar to those seen in previous studies .
The main limitation of our study included the lack of a placebo group, as subjective pain response might have a significant placebo component . However, the high treatment response and satisfaction rates in this study were both encouraging and clinically meaningful for our patients. We did not assess the use of analgesics after two hours of receiving the SPG block, which might have influenced the headache relief percentage at 24 hours. However, this is allowed in acute headache trials guidelines .
Transnasal SPG blockade is emerging as an effective and safe option for the treatment of several disabling headache and facial pain conditions such as migraine, cluster headache, and trigeminal neuralgia. Its ease of administration using noninvasive devices, safety profile, and quick pain relief makes it an attractive treatment option for these conditions. More well-designed studies are needed to further explore the efficacy of this treatment modality and its use as part of a comprehensive headache management program.
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I am pleased to announce that I am now a new Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep and Breathing. I am a long term Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, Credentialed by the Sleep Disorder Dental Society (SDDS) and a Founding member of both the SDDS (Now AADSM) and Dosa , the Dental Organization for Sleep Apnea.
I did research into jaw position and sleep apnea as a visiting Assistant Professor at Rush Medical School from 1985 until 1991 and returned as an Assistant Professor from 1998 until 2001. I had the pleasure of working with Dr Rosalind Cartwright who was responsible for the growth of Dental Sleep Medicine.
I am currently in day two of my Harvard Medical School course on Advanced Pain Management. I am spending all of this week in Boston to improve on my skills in pain management.
The program is on Advanced Pain Management continuing Education with Academy of Integrative Pain Management and Harvard Medical School’s Top Pain Doctors.
Updates and Practice Recommendations to
Optimize the Assessment and Treatment of Pain
Headache, Fibromyalgia, Neuropathic, Myofascial, Cancer, Abdominal, Pelvic, Musculoskeletal, Spinal Pain.
Original IHATEHEADACHES.org post @
Tension-Type Headaches are extremely common affecting the majority of the public at some during their lifetime. It is commonly associated with Stress or more accurately how patients react to stressful periods.
There is often considerable cross over between Tension-Type headaches and Medication Overuse Headache.
Tension-Type Headaches can be mild, moderate or severe to very severe and frequently patients refer to them as “my Migraine”. Migraine in Children are often misdiagnosed Tension Type Headaches associated with Myofascial Trigger Points. Because Migraine pathogenesis is also not well understood there is a great deal of crossover diagnosis.
This recent study; Eur J Pain. 2018 Feb;22(2):385-392. doi: 10.1002/ejp.1127. Epub 2017 Sep 26. “CHILDREN WITH MIGRAINE: PROVOCATION VIA PRESSURE TO MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINTS IN THE TRAPZIUS MUSCLE?” is an excellent example of research which confuses or fails to clarify migraine and tension-type headaches. The article is excellent looking at headaches from triggerpoints in the Trapezius muscle. (abstract below at ent of post)
To understand Tension-Type Headaches I believe it is extremely important to understand and know all of the referral patterns identifies in MPD or Myofascial Pain. Any physician or dentist is compromised in their quality of care without this knowledge and is likely to prescribe excessive or inappropriate medications.
I believe it is impossible to make a proper diagnosis in many patients until both active and latent trigger points have been identified and managed. This is an essential step in the differential diagnosis and should be completed prior to medication prescriptions for triptans and other medications.
The website www.TriggerPoints.net is an excellent resource for patients and physicians dealing with Tension-Type Headaches and Migraines. It is taken from the testbook “Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: A Trigger Point Manual”
I recommend that my patients buy this book to better understand their pain patterns, how they can prevent myofascial trigger points from forming and how they can improve the pain from these trigger points.
The precise mechanisms of Tension-type headaches are not well understood. There are many discussions that differentiate central and peripheral mechanisms.
The first known fact about Tension Headaches (and Migraines) is that they are primarily disorders of the Trigeminal Nervous System and the Trigeminal Vascular System.
There is also no question that the autonomic nervous system plays an enormous role especially the Sympathetic nervous system and the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.
Chronic Tension Type Headaches are a serious condition that can severely decrease quality of life and cause considerable disability.
All patients with Tension-Type headaches of a severe or chronic nature should have the effects of the autonomic nervous system evaluated as part of the diagnostic work-up with a minimally invasive Diagnostic Sphenopalatine (Pterygopalatine) Ganglion Block. https://www.sphenopalatineganglionblocks.com/managing-chronic-headaches-spg-block-sphenopalatine-ganglion-block/
The use of self-administered Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) Blocks can often have almost immediate relief of even severe pain and sometimes spontaneous remission of the underlying headache with repeated use.
These blocks reset the autonomic nervous system and help with stress response (sympathetic) turning off “Fight or Flight Reflex” and turn on the Parasympathetic Reflex ie “Feed and Breed or Eat and Digest Reflex”
There is an incredible histor of pain relief including a 1930 scientific article by Hiram Byrd on “Sphenopalatine Phenomena” and a 1986 popular book “Miracles on Park Avenue” documenting the practice of Dr Milton Reder who exclusively utilized SPG Blocks to treat patients varied types of pain.
Dr Ho published an extensive review Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks and Modulation in a 2017 paper. https://www.sphenopalatineganglionblocks.com/sphenopalatine-ganglion-block-radiofrequency-ablation-neurostimulation-systematic-review/
The concept of Neuromodulation is extremely important because it helps explain the amazing successes of neuromuscular dentistry in treating and eliminating headaches and migraines. A basic concept in Neuromuscular Dentistry is utilizing the Myomonitor to relax muslces inervated by Trigeminal and facial nerves to find neuromuscular rest and occlusion which serves to give a healthy reset to the trigeminal nervous system as a patient functions and swallows.
The Myomonitor also acts as a Neuromodulation device of the Sphenopalatine Ganglion. There is an incredible 50 year safety record of Sphenopalatine Stimulation with the Myomonitor when used by Neuromuscular Dentists.
Understanding how these processes work is important. It is also important to hear patients stories. This is a link to over 100 patient videos who have been treated with Neuromuscular Dentistry and SPG Blocks for Tension-Type Headaches, Migraines, TMJ disorders, Myofascial Pain and referred headaches and related sleep disorders.
A recent article in Cephalgia (PubMed abstract below) clearly explains how there is a reciprical (two way) relationship between TMJ disorders, Musculoskeetal Disorders and Migraine.
In the conclusions the article states: “These dysfunctions support a reciprocal interaction between the trigeminal and the cervical systems as a trait symptom in migraine.”
While TMJ disorders (TMD) are not specifically listed the musculoskeletal disorders would specifically include those structures related to the Trigeminal Nervous System especially the TrigeminoCervical Complex.
The Trigeminal Nerve is known to be involved in all headaches and migraines. The Trigeminal Nerve is also known as the Dentist’s Nerve. It innervates the Teeth (pulp) the periodontal ligaments, the upper and lower jaws, the Temoromandibular Joints, the jaw muscles, the Tensor Tympani that tenses the ear drum, the Tensor Veli Palatini that open and closes the eustacian tubes, the lining of the sinuses and the nose, the innervation to the anterior two thirds of the tongue, the lower eyelid and tear glands via Sphenopalatine Ganglion. After amolification in the Reticular Activating System it accounts for over 50% of all input to the brain including the majority of proprioceptive input. There are major connections to the Autonomic Nervous System, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic syystem.
Cephalalgia. 2017 Jan 1:333102417716934. doi: 10.1177/0333102417716934.
[Epub ahead of print]
Musculoskeletal dysfunction in migraine patients.
Luedtke K1, Starke W1, May A1.
Objective The aim of this project was to evaluate the prevalence and pattern of musculoskeletal dysfunctions in migraine patients using a rigorous methodological approach and validating an international consensus cluster of headache assessment tests. Methods A physiotherapist, blinded towards the diagnosis, examined 138 migraine patients (frequent episodic and chronic), recruited at a specialised headache clinic, and 73 age and gender matched healthy controls following a standardised protocol. Eleven tests, previously identified in an international consensus procedure, were used to evaluate cervical and thoracic musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Results Primary analyses indicated statistically significant differences across groups for the total number of trigger points, flexion-rotation test, thoracic screening, manual joint testing of the upper cervical spine, cranio-cervical flexion test, and reproduction and resolution. Ninety three percent of the assessed patients had at least three musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Post-hoc tests showed significant differences between episodic or chronic migraine patients and healthy controls, but not between migraine groups.
Conclusions A standardized set of six physical examination tests showed a high prevalence of musculoskeletal dysfunctions in migraine patients. These dysfunctions support a reciprocal interaction between the trigeminal and the cervical systems as a trait symptom in migraine.