Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block

What is a Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block?

Sphenopalatine ganglion block is a procedure in which a local anesthetic is delivered to the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG)—a group of nerve cells located behind the nose—to relieve headache pain.

what conditions can ankle injections help with?

Sphenopalatine ganglion block is used to treat headache disorders, such as:

  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Migraine
  • Cluster headache
  • Paroxysmal hemicranias
  • Trigeminal neuropathy (formerly called atypical facial pain)

The local anesthetic works by blocking or reducing pain signals carried by the nerve cells in the sphenopalatine ganglion. The duration of pain relief varies greatly, with some people experiencing no pain relief and others seeing improvement for days or months. The procedure can be repeated as necessary.

how does it work?

The anesthetic can be delivered to the SPG by applying it to cotton swabs and placing them into the back of the nose. It can also be given by an injection into the cheek, but this technique usually requires an X-ray to verify correct placement of the needle. A newer technique involves delivering the anesthetic through a thin plastic tube that is placed in the nose. This method is less invasive than an injection.


The most common side effects include numbness in the throat, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and nausea. These effects usually last no more than a few hours. You may also experience nasal bleeding or irritation.

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