Aviva G. Asnis-Alibozek
Around the world, many healthcare clinics and hospitals adapted their treatment during the public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic for patients with various head and facial pain disorders. Historically, there are a plethora of in-office procedures for the treatment of neuropathic pain, offering both benefits and risks, all of which will be reviewed. Common pain disorders like migraine were treated effectively via telemedicine visits as there are many new pharmaceutical options for both preventive and abortive care, including injections that can be administered at-home by the patient or caregiver. Historically, the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) has been thoroughly researched, well-known amongst pain professionals, and is identified as a viable treatment for many head and facial pain disorders. Current preventative and abortive sphenopalatine treatment approaches typically include provider-administered in-office procedures, requiring supplies, patient travel expenses and time, occasional radiation, and overall healthcare resource burden.
During the pandemic, many in-office procedures like SPG blocks, which were used to treat head and facial pain disorders like trigeminal neuralgia, trigeminal autonomic cephalgias including cluster headaches, and other various neuropathic pain disorders, were temporarily discontinued for both patient and healthcare worker risk of viral transmission. Utility of healthcare resources and financial burden to the patient has room for optimization. There has been a need for effective at-home SPG block treatment over the decades, but now more than ever, during this ongoing pandemic, it is vital.
Secora K. Unmet Need for Home Administered Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block in the Treatment of Head and Facial Pain Disorders. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2022; 4(4).
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