Treating Pain Through the Sympathetic Nervous System
It sounds impossible that SGB, this simple and painless office procedure, could succeed in relieving severe chronic pain where all of these other highly technical, expensive, and invasive methods have failed. It seems impossible that SGB could relieve a “failed back”, which is the term orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons use to describe the unfortunate chronic back pain patients who are made worse by surgeries, often multiple, and whom surgeons will no longer touch, until you realize SGB works through a completely different part of our human physiology: the Sympathetic Nervous System.
The Sympathetic Nervous System is an extensive web of nerves which reaches to every part of the body. It can be thought of as a nerve net, massively interconnected throughout the body. A treatment which acts on one part of the net, i.e. blocking sympathetic nerves in the Sphenopalatine Ganglion SGB, which happens to be located behind the nose, can have a profound effect upon distant parts of the body, i.e. the low back. The point is that none of the standard ways of treating chronic pain, medication, surgery, chiropractic, acupuncture, make use of this powerful system. One reason is that it is difficult to gain access to the Sympathetic Nervous System, as most parts of it are buried deep in the body and require invasive surgery or deep injections to reach them. Most practitioners are unaware that the exception to this is the Sphenopalatine Ganglion, which is exposed to the outside world because it is located in the nose, and can easily be reached by the nasal applicator used in SGB.
Now that we understand this unique Sympathetic Nervous System aspect, it is no longer a surprise that SGB works where other treatments have failed, no matter how complex, expensive, or high-tech they may be—it is a fundamentally different approach, using a different way to affect the pain. In other words, it does not matter how many different treatments, surgeries, medications, one has tried and failed with—chances are none of the previous doctors have tried working through the Sympathetic Nervous System, which often turns out to be the key to the problem. A very painful condition, known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), where the hand may become painful, cold, and discolored following an injury, was once thought to be responsive only to a deep injection nerve block (i.e. Stellate Ganglion block in the neck). In a number of cases, however, the pain was controlled equally well by a simple SGB—such is the interconnectedness of the Sympathetic System.