As patients have found relief from sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) blocks, researchers have been looking for ways to make the procedure easier for the patient.
The SPG block is not a new procedure. In fact, as Dr. Alexander Mauskop points out in a recent article (Sphenopalatine ganglion block for migraine and cluster headaches), it was used over a hundred years ago.
Today the research is continuing. Although the SPG block is considered a temporary solution, there is some evidence that there may be a longer term benefit, with some patients reporting that their attacks lessen even after the initial benefit of the block wears off.
But there have been problems with the procedure. Some doctors have used long Q-tips inserted in the nose, but the procedure is uncomfortable and it’s unclear how much medication actually reaches the SPG.
Sometimes needs are also used, and anesthetics.
But new devices are being developed to make the procedure a lot easier and more effective. A device is placed in the nose, and a small spaghetti sized catheter is gently released, getting the medication directly to the SPG with a minimum of discomfort.
Two similar examples are shown in the videos below, to give you an idea how the procedure works. The first is the Allevio (a short patient-friendly video), the second an actual patient with the Tx360, and the third the Tx360 again (a longer video explaining the procedure to doctors).