Cluster headaches are usually intense,
unilateral, and involve the periorbital area.
(Trigeminal) provides sensory and autonomic innervation the face
and eyes, which play roles in headache pathology.
Cluster headaches can be treated with high flow
oxygen, but a new treatment involves blocking the sphenopalatine
ganglion (SPG) with lidocaine. Because sensory and autonomic
branches of the trigeminal traverse the SPG, lidocaine will
effectively treat a cluster headache.
block the ganglion, intranasal lidocaine may be used, or a Q-tip
soaked in 4% lidocaine can be applied to the most posterior aspect
of the pharynx for 10-15 minutes.