SPG Nerve refers to Sphenopalatine Ganglion Nerve. A Sphenopalatine Ganglion is a nerve bunch which is a part of autonomic nervous system present behind the root of nose, deep inside the face. It transfers sensation signals including pain. SPG is a cluster of autonomic and sensory nerves. SPG plays a role in a headache and certain cluster headache symptoms like swollen eyelids and nasal congestion. The exact function of SPG is not implied yet but electric stimulations of SPG can cause migraine and cluster headache symptoms. SPG is associated with trigeminal nerve, the main nerve involved in headaches.
SPG Nerve Block for headaches:
It is a new treatment for serious headaches. SPG nerve blocking is shown to be productive to diminish severity and frequency of a migraine and cluster headaches. The pain is caused by the sympathetic activity when a nerve gets stimulated. SPG nerve block transfers medication exactly to the collection of nerve cells. It stops the sympathetic activity of SPG, as a result, the pain stops and the patient feels relieved.
The duration and amount of relief varies from patient to patient. Some patients do not respond to the treatment while others notice improvements within just a few days. The procedure may need repetition until optimum pain relief is achieved. When a numbing medication or local anesthetics is applied to moderately block or block SPG, it helps to reduce headaches. The slightest invasive method to access the SPG is through the nose of the patient.
The procedure of SPG Nerve Block:
The blood pressure, cheek temperature and heart rate may be checked prior to the procedure. During SPG nerve block, local anesthesia is injected to the ganglion to decrease its activity. A small plastic catheter is directed into the region of SPG. No alleviating medications are required for the procedure. The nasal numbing spray may be used to avoid displeasure during the placement of the catheter.
After the paralyzing effect, an applicator is placed in the nostril and the catheter is progressed to back of the nasal cavity. The catheter is detached after the anesthetic is forced through a syringe. The procedure is then repeated in another nostril. The whole procedure involves just a few minutes. After the completion of the procedure you are advised to lie down for 10 to 15 minutes and then your blood pressure is examined again.
The effectiveness of SPG Nerve block:
SPG nerve block is a momentary and instant solution to reduce a headache. Relief can be seen instantly, within 15 minutes or few hours in most patients. Relief remains for a long period of time. SPG nerve block treatment is most successful if attempted as a part of inclusive headache treatment plan.
Risks and side effects of SPG Nerve Block:
Typically the risks are close to none. This is a safe and slightly invasive procedure. There is less discomfort during and after the procedure, numbness during swallowing, nose bleeding, mild-headedness and pungent taste due to anesthesia. These side effects usually resolve within a few minutes or hours. There is a rare risk of infection, seizures and allergic reactions.