Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that affects each person differently, and no single medication or therapy works for all. At StrIVeMD Wellness and Ketamine in Skokie, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Miami, Florida; and the West Loop and River North areas of Chicago, and Miami Beach, FL, the board-certified anesthesiologists and pain physicians offer stellate ganglion block treatment to help patients with PTSD, as well as chronic pain conditions. Find out more about the stellate ganglion block and how it might help you by calling the office most convenient to you or booking an appointment online today.
The stellate ganglion block is an injection that contains a local anesthetic that your provider injects into your stellate ganglion, located in the front of your neck.
The stellate ganglion is a collection of sympathetic nerves. Part of your sympathetic nervous system, the stellate ganglion controls involuntary functions in your head, face, and arms such as blood vessel contractions and your fight-or-flight stress response.
Though the stellate ganglion isn’t a sensory nerve, an injury or infection may sensitize the nerve, causing various pain conditions or altering function of the nerve to trigger blood vessel spasms.
The stellate ganglion block stops the transmission of the messages from the nerve to your brain to ease symptoms.
Traditionally, stellate ganglion blocks benefit conditions that affect the upper body, including:
The injection eases these pain conditions by blocking the pain signals or the functions of the stellate ganglion causing the pain, like blood vessel spasms.
Researchers now are finding that the stellate ganglion block benefits people with PTSD, a mental health condition that occurs after a traumatic or life-threatening event.
For those suffering with PTSD, researchers theorize that the sympathetic nerve injection may block the fight-or-flight response, easing their symptoms. The stellate ganglion block for PTSD, however, works best when combined with therapy and other treatments.
A stellate ganglion block is an outpatient procedure that takes about 30 minutes. Your provider at StrIVeMD Wellness and Ketamine reviews the details of your injection at your consultation so you know what to expect.
You may be given a sedative prior to the injection to help you relax. While you lie on your back on an procedure table, your provider cleans the skin on the front of your neck with an antiseptic agent and administers a local anesthetic.
Using ultrasound guided imaging, your provider inserts a thin needle into the front of your neck to the site of your stellate ganglion and injects the medication.
Patients with PTSD may experience immediate relief from symptoms. For pain conditions, results vary and relief may last a few days or a few weeks.
Your providers at StrIVeMD Wellness and Ketamine may recommend additional injections, for pain or PTSD, so you get the best results.
We use ultrasound due to the many advantages over fluoroscopy or x-ray. Ultrasound is a dynamic test which shows real time location and direct visualization of vital structures in the neck, such as the carotid and vertebral arteries, internal jugular vein, thyroid, esophagus, and various muscles. Fluoroscopy or an x-ray is a static test that does not show any of the vital structures, since this modality shows mainly bone. The physician cannot see nerves, arteries, veins, or other soft tissue structures. Using fluoroscopy, a needle is placed blindly near the stellate ganglion, which can increase the risk of permanent injury to the patient (nerve injury, vascular injury, lung puncture). Ultrasound also has NO radiation, whereas x-ray/fluoroscopy does expose the patient to radiation. Ultrasound can thus be considered a much safer way to do this procedure.
Find out more about the stellate ganglion block and how it might benefit your health and well-being by calling StrIVeMD Wellness and Ketamine, or book an appointment online today.
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