HealthDay News — A nasal nerve block may be an effective pain relief method for children with migraines, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology, held from March 4 to 9 in Washington, D.C.

The treatment — sphenopalatine ganglion block — consists of a small flexible catheter inserted into each nostril, via which local anesthetic is administered to the sphenopalatine ganglion. Robin Kaye, MD, from Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and colleagues used the procedure 310 times on 200 patients aged 7 to 18 at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The level of patients’ pain was assessed on a scale of 1 to 10 before the procedure. Some patients were sedated, while others weren’t.

Ten minutes after treatment, patients were asked about their level of pain. A statistically significant decrease in headache scores was seen, with an average pain reduction of more than 2 points on a 10-point scale, the researchers found.

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“While it isn’t a cure for migraines, this treatment has the potential to really improve the quality of life for many children,” Dr Kaye said in a news release from the Society of Interventional Radiology. “It can be performed easily, without complications, and gives quick pain relief, which is important to parents who want to see their children happy, healthy, and pain free again. If needed, we can also repeat the treatment if or when the migraine returns.”


Dance L, Aria D, Schaefer C, Kaye R, Yonker M, Towbin R. Safety and efficacy of sphenopalatine ganglion blockade in children – initial experience. Presented at: Society for Interventional Radiology Annual Meeting. March 4-9, 2017; Washington, D.C. Abstract 10.