01 Apr What is Sphenopalatine Ganglion neuralgia? What Can I do About It?
Anyone who is suffering from chronic pain caused by sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia will understand completely how debilitating this condition is. Often, it comes in the form of cluster headaches which seem to follow two distinct patterns – chronic and episodic.
- Chronic cluster headaches are worse as there is often no relief from attacks. Often, they start without historic problems.
- Episodic cluster headaches are far more common and have periods of remission which can be up to a year. The pain, although still chronic, is often reported as starting around the eyes although this varies.
Both types of cluster headaches can alternate and, this suggests that they are one and the same problem. There is a difference between cluster headaches which are caused by sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia and migraines. Drugs that are effective with migraines do not have the same benefits with cluster-type headaches.
What can I do about Sphenopalatine Ganglion neuralgia?
If you have been suffering from continuous or excruciating facial or head pain and have not experienced any reduction in pain or in general improvement through conventual pain treatment, then, you may well benefit from a Sphenopalatine Ganglion nerve block. This is a non-invasive treatment which has worked wonders for many people suffering from Sphenopalatine Ganglion neuralgia and other head and face – related pain problems.
How it works
The Sphenopalatine Ganglion is a region in the face that sends nerve pain signals to the brain. By administering an anesthetic in that region, pain management specialists can treat acute pain very effectively. In fact, it has quickly become an established method for chronic head and face pain. This simple but specialist procedure can normally be done in-house and without a hospital visit.
There are two different treatments under the same banner.
- Therapeutic block
- Diagnostic block
Most specialists will perform a diagnostic block first. This will involve a local anesthetic which will be used to test the response system. If patients’ respond well to this and meet the required criteria, then a therapeutic block will be administered. The whole procedure should only take a few minutes.
The main benefit of a Sphenopalatine Ganglion block is the avoidance of the inevitable array of pain management medicines and side effects. Often, it will take several different painkillers before an effective one is found and the build-up of various drugs in the body can have a very negative effect.
The diagnostic part of the treatment is usually performed twice to establish that it is suitable and then the therapeutic block would be administered just once. The result would normally last for several months offering relief from the pain throughout this period. This is such a relief to most people as acute or chronic pain can be completely debilitating.
The diagnostic test offers pain relief straight away, but the pain would normally return, but this is normal and means that the patient is suitable for the second therapeutic block. This second procedure may take a few days to work properly but is at least likely to last a few months.
If you are worried that you may have this condition, seek medical assistance as there is much that can be done to ease this very painful condition.