TMJ Treatment Failures: Why Do They Occur? SPG Blocks May Be The Answer

TMJ Treatment is can give patient life changing improvements in quality of life and are often extremely successful. The use of ULF-TENS has greatly increased the rates of success by relieving the muscle spasm and tension as part of comprehensive treatment.

Regardless of the technique utilized a percentage of patients do not experience the same relief of symptoms as others. One of the reasons is brain plasticity where the central nervous system changes in how messages are transmitted. This is one of the mechanisms of chronic pain.


The second change to the nervous system concerns the Autonomic Nervous system. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) are both terms used to describe pain that in maintained or caused by autonomic nerves. There are two parts to the Autonomic Nervous System, the Sympathetic System and the Parasympathetic System. The Sympathetic system controls the “Fight or Flight” reflex and prepares us for action. The Parasympathetic system is our “Feed and Breed” or “Eat and Digest” portion and it is where we “Veg out” relax, it stimulates the same part of our brains that babies, puppies and kittens do, our warm and cozy side.  It is related to our Hypothalamus and our Limbic System where we feel emotions.  We can feel a wide variety of emotions and it is in the Limbic System where we feel pain.  It is an emotional response to stimuli which we call pain.

Many patients find tremendous relief from Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks which unlike other treatments are directed at the autonomic nervous system.  The Sphenopalatine Ganglion is the largest parasympathetic ganglion of the head but it also contains sympathetic and somatic fibers.

Blocking the Sphenopalatine Ganglion can often cause remarkably positive effects on relieving pain and anxiety.  It is like a reset button for the central nervous system and turns off the “Fight or Flight” reflex and lets the feel good “Feed and Breed” Parasympathetic system take over.

The Central Nervous Dysfunction is a wild card when it comes to successful TMJ dysfunction treatment.

The book “Miracles on Park Avenue” discussed miraculous results from SPG Blocks.

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