What is SPG?
The Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) is a collection of nerve cells located behind the bony structures of the nose that is closely associated to the main nerve involved with headache pain called the trigeminal nerve. In some cases of cluster headaches and migraines, the pain is caused by inflammation and opening of the blood vessels around the meninges (covering the brain), which activate pain receptors that send pain impulses through the trigeminal nerve, eventually to the sensory area of the brain, and are perceived as pain.
What Is a SPG Nerve Block?
A nerve block is a procedure to stop pain transmission through anesthesia to the nerve. In a SPG block, an anesthetic agent is administered to the collection of nerves in the ganglion through the nose. The procedure is performed with a small applicator which is inserted through the nostril to the very back of the nasal cavity where anesthetic agent applied and absorbed into the SPG effectively blocking those pain impulses.
How Long Does The Nerve Block Last?
The duration of pain relief is variable with most patients experiencing relief after the first few treatments. Our clinic’s standard protocol dictates two applications a week for six weeks with reduced frequency and severity of chronic migraine pain lasting over a six month period and most patients not experiencing any recurrent migraines during that period.
Chiropractic care for headaches
Various research studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments can be effective in treating the most common types of headaches, particularly those that originate from the neck.
This may be because headaches can also be a symptom of underlying chiropractic conditions such as bad posture or spine misalignment.
The term ‘subluxation’ refers to a misalignment or dysfunction of a joint. When this happens, the joint doesn’t receive the correct blood flow, nor do the nerves transmit communications between your brain and body properly. Many cases of subluxation are due to accidents or trauma. However, poor posture, arthritis and other medical conditions can also be the cause.
Subluxation is considered to be the primary cause of many common headaches, and the symptoms can be alleviated when spinal and jaw problems are corrected.
This is because manipulation by a trained professional can help to release trapped nerves and reduce nerve irritation that may be feeding the headache.
How long will it take my headaches to subside?
Every patient that we treat is unique, and often the cause of their headaches is too. Therefore, while one patient may reap the benefits of chiropractic care for their discomfort quite quickly, others may see a slower improvement in their symptoms.
In addition to chiropractic techniques, we may also recommend some additional things that can help alleviate your discomfort further. These could include:
• Apply a heat pad to your neck to help relax the muscles
• Apply a cold compress to the area of your head that hurts the most, which may help numb the pain
• Avoid bright lights and loud noise
• Massage the back of your neck gently to reduce stress (or better yet, get someone to do it for you!)
• Lie down in a cool, dark room with just a small pillow supporting your neck so that it rests parallel to your body.
At Valley Spinal Care & Wellness Center, we are dedicated to helping our patients in and around Scottsdale, AZ live life to the fullest. To find out more about how our chiropractic care can alleviate your headaches, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly, reassuring team.