Sphenopalatine Blocks for Headaches

If you regularly suffer from headaches, you may begin to wonder what type of damage continued use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be doing to your body. While these drugs are effective for the short-term relief of normal tension headaches, they can do harm to the liver with continued use. In addition, NSAID pain relievers will only provide limited reprieve from headaches, so these drugs may do little to resolve chronic tension headaches. Rather than suffering through the pain of persistent headaches, you can seek relief in Baltimore with Fidel Integrated Medical Solutions. After an evaluation in our practice, you might undergo a sphenopalatine block for headaches, which is a highly effective, minimally invasive procedure that can block headaches at their source without the ongoing use of medication.

Understanding what causes headaches

To understand why sphenopalatine blocks work for headache treatment, it is helpful to know what causes tension headaches in the first place. Most often, headaches are linked to the trigeminal nerve, which is connected to a group of nerve cells called the sphenopalatine ganglion, or SPG. When this group of cells is agitated, it may trigger a reaction in the trigeminal nerve, causing your head to hurt. Blocking the SPG can stop nerve signals of pain, relieving headaches and facial pain.

How sphenopalatine blocks work

A sphenopalatine block uses a catheter device, which is inserted through the nose to access the SPG. The catheter is attached to a syringe containing numbing medication, which will limit nerve activity. The procedure may take place multiple times, as needed, and it will generally offer chronic headache or migraine relief over up to six months following 12 procedures administered over a six-week period.

What to expect from your procedure

During the sphenopalatine block, you will be asked to lie down on your back with your head extended. The catheter will be inserted into each nostril to apply the medication, a process that takes about 10-20 seconds per side. You may feel the sensation of having something in your nose with some minor discomfort, but this is limited to the duration of the procedure. Just after each block procedure, you may be monitored for low blood pressure, and you might feel some numbness in the throat as well as mild nausea. Symptoms will subside within a few hours of the block.

Working with Fidel Integrated Medical Solutions, you can find care to fit into your daily life so that you are able to live without the disruption of chronic pain. To learn how we can help you find relief from chronic headaches, call our office for a consultation.

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