Headache Relief Procedure

Millions of people suffer from painful chronic headache conditions all over the United States, and they don’t seem to be getting better. Managing pain is a chore for many headache patients, who often feel discouraged and exhausted by a lack of day-to-day pain relief.

Some Headache Statistics
Around 45 million American men and women suffer from chronic headache disorders.

  • 6-8% of men suffer from chronic headaches
  • 15-18% of women suffer from chronic headaches
  • Almost 5% of all adults experience headaches every day or almost every day

Over 3 million Americans have resorted to emergency services to treat severe headaches at least once

Conventional Headache Relief – It’s Not Working
Here’s another discouraging statistic: over 60% of patients have given up on their prescription medications. Conventional chronic headache prescriptions such as topiramate and triptan can often go well over $300-$500 every month. For such expensive treatment, the numerous uncomfortable accompanying side effects as well as an overall absence of pain relief mean that the majority of patients need something better.

Our procedure differs from conventional headache prescription medications, because we treat the pain right at its source with a quick, relatively painless and minimally invasive SPG blocking technique.

SPG Blocks
The Sphenopalatine Ganglion
The sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) is a collection of neurons inside the head. It is located outside of the brain, but is exposed to the outside environment due to its connection to the nasal mucosa. The SPG is connected to a number of different pain-associated issues in the head, including migraine, tension and cluster headaches, as well as headaches with mixed symptoms.

What is an SPG Block?
An SPG block is a procedure that administers medication to the SPG, which modulates nerve impulses to try to provide effective and long-lasting pain relief.

If it works so well, why don’t more people do it?
The SPG block procedure has been around since the early 1900s. It is a historically effective procedure for the treatment of chronic head pain. Most physicians do not administer conventional SPG block procedures because they are invasive, highly uncomfortable for the patient, and have significant risk.

The New Procedure, And Why It’s Better
What makes the Prairie Spine & Pain Institute technique better?
The traditional SPG block procedures often require the patient to be sedated so the physician can navigate a Q-tip-like applicator through  the nasal passage or with a long, thin needle through the side of the head to deliver medication to the SPG. While effective, it can be a risky procedure.

Our SPG block procedure is minimally invasive and quick, with very little or no discomfort for the patient.

Prairie Spine & Pain Institute uses FDA reviewed and patented latex-free, single-use device that allows our physicians to swiftly and easily administer medication to the SPG.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our procedure is designed to be safe and relatively painless. You may experience minimal or mild discomfort when the device is inserted into the nose, but it is nothing like the needles and stiff applicators of the past. Our device is small and flexible, making the procedure as comfortable as possible for quick relief.

It usually only takes minutes for the physician to administer the SPG block with the new patented drug delivery device. After the procedure, the patient should recline or lie fl at for another 10-15 minutes to experience maximum relief.

When SPG blocks are administered, using the new device and procedure, the results were positive:

  • Almost two-thirds of treated patients continued to experience improved symptoms one week after treatment
  • Almost 50% continued to experience improved symptoms one month after treatment
  • Almost 25% continued to experience improved symptoms three months after treatment
  • Patients who returned for further treatment continued to experience improvement.

Our procedure has minimal associated side effects and low risks. There are seldom any risks associated with topical anesthetics, but the medication used depends on your doctor. The medication may drain into your mouth and cause an unpleasant taste or some numbness, and, extremely infrequently, there may be some slight bleeding or worsening of the headache.

Adults over 18 only. We accept Medicare, Blue Cross, and most other insurance plans. A referral is usually not needed for most insurance plans, give us a call to discuss your insurance plan and your coverage options. At this time we do not accept Medicaid patients.