Specialized Radiologists:

Specialized Radiologists:

Brian Christenson
Brian Christenson, MD

We can be reached at the following numbers:

During Business hours
(406) 237-5490

During Non-Business office hours
(406) 237-7000 and ask the switchboard to be connected with the radiologist on call.

What is Sphenopalatine Ganglion?

The Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) is a group of nerves located in the skull behind the nasal passages. The SPG is also associated with the trigeminal nerve, the principle nerve involved in headache disorders. The SPG block may provide relief for a variety of pain syndromes including:

  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Sphenopalatine neuralgia
  • Migraine headaches
  • Cluster headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Temporomandibular joint pain
  • Postherpetic neuralgia

How is a SPG block done?

We may apply a small amount of numbing medicine on a cotton tip applicator to the inside of both nostrils. This helps you feel more comfortable. You will be asked to lie down on your back during the procedure. Dr. Chistenson will then place a small thin plastic tube into one nostril and advanced. He will confirm the position of the catheter with x-ray. The numbing medicine (usually lidocaine) will be pushed through a syringe and then the catheter will be taken out. The procedure will be repeated on the other nostril. The entire procedure takes between 1-2 minutes. After the procedure is completed you may be asked to lie down for about 15 minutes.
SPG block

Getting Ready for your SPG Block

Preparing for Your SPG Block

  • We will contact you the day before your procedure to review important instructions and any questions you may have.
  • Take all of your medicines on the day of your procedure unless we instruct you otherwise.
  • Bring a list of all your medicines with you when you check in to the Radiology Department
  • If there is a delay in getting your procedure started it is because we need to treat other people with unexpected or emergency problems. Thank you for your patience if this occurs.
  • A nurse will give you a hospital gown to put on and a bag for your belongings.
  • Dr. Christenson will talk to you about the procedure and ask you to sign a consent formic the thas not already been done. You may ask any questions you have at any time.


  • You may shower or bather as soon as you wish after your procedure.
  • Most people can retire to their normal actives immediately after their SPG Block.
headache sufferer