Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block


The Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) is a group of nerve cells that is linked to the trigeminal nerve.

This is the main nerve involved in headaches. With a Sphenopalatine Ganglion block Arizona pain experts can use a local anesthetic or numbing medicine to block or partially block the SPG. Learn more about Sphenopalatine Ganglion blocks in the video below. Schedule an appointment today!

How Does the Sphenonpalatine Ganglion Cause Headaches?

SPG nerves are responsible for carrying pain signals to the brain and controlling autonomic functions, namely tearing and nasal congestion. Because it connects to the brain stem and membranes that cover the brain and line the skull (meninges) by a nerve called the trigeminal nerve.

When inflammation occurs and the blood vessels around the meninges occur, pain receptors activate and send messages through the trigeminal nerve.

The trigeminal nerve is one of the three main nerves that provide sensation in your face; it also affects the muscles related to chewing.

When it comes to headaches, the sphenopalatine ganglion can also receive these messages, called pain impulses, and send them back to the brain. This is responsible for the pain people experience with cluster headaches and migraines.

The SPG can also activate autonomous tearing and congestion during a migraine; this process, called the trigeminal autonomous effect, is what causes runny nose and watery eyes from migraines and headaches.

How an SPG Block Can Help

SPG blocks can alleviate migraines, headaches, and associated facial pain. This can lead to lasting relief for patients who typically don’t find any results from over-the-counter treatments or medication.

Because the block numbs the SPG, it won’t be able to pass along pain signals that cause headaches to your brain.

Side Effects and Risks

There are minimal side effects and low risks associated with SPG blocks. The most common side effects include a numb feeling in the throat, nausea, and possibly low blood pressure. Because of the numbness in your throat, it’s advised to avoid eating or drinking anything for several hours to avoid the risk of choking.

People who have high blood pressure or are currently taking blood thinner medications are not eligible for SBG blocks due to the risk of serious complications.

In extremely rare cases, SBG blocks can make headache pain worse, but this is not the norm.

Contact The Pain Experts of Arizona for More Information

If you are ready to find headache or migraine relief for good, we can help. Please reach out to us at The Pain Experts of Arizona to meet with a dedicated physician who will listen to your story, understand your symptoms, and develop a personalized care plan to help.

Please click here to send a message or book an appointment. You can call the Gilbert, AZ, office at 480-550-9393 and the Mesa, AZ, office at 480-550-9393.


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