The Stellate Ganglion is a part of the sympathetic nervous system which is located at the base of the neck on either side of your voice box. The Stellate Ganglion Block or SGB is a procedure in which a numbing agent is injected into the Stellate Ganglion, relieving symptoms caused by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. This process in which a our qualified healthcare provider utilizes an ultrasound or x-ray to guide a needle into the nerves. This procedure can provide relief to the patient for up to several weeks, possibly more. Recently there has been significant proof that SGB injections can help alleviate symptoms of PTSD including:
- Fight or flight response
SGB offers relief by restoring the sympathetic nervous system, reducing and even stopping extra growth in the nerves. The SGB procedure has minimal risks when being preformed with the assistance of x-ray or ultrasound technology.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
It is estimated that almost 10 percent of Americans have or will suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, during their lifetime. This can greatly affect their ability to keep a steady job or earn a proper living wage. It is a common misconception that only Veterans are affected by PTSD. Although many sufferers of PTSD are military service members, those who have been through a traumatic life event, whether as children or as an adult can be vulnerable to acquiring PTSD.
According to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly 5.2 million adults are dealing with PTSD in any given year. PTSD is a disorder brought on by trauma. After an event like this has occurred, what is known as a “fight or flight” response may be triggered in an effort to protect that person from harm or danger. This is a natural instinct and most people can come down from the symptoms on their own in time, however, those who continuously experience these symptoms may be diagnosed with PTSD.
People who suffer from PTSD may experience extreme and debilitating symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, lack of emotion, avoidance of situations similar to their trauma, and flashbacks. As mentioned before, not all who suffer from PTSD are war veterans, there are many other causes of PTSD including:
- Exposure to a traumatic event
- Severe accident
- Critical health problems
- Traumatic childhood
If trauma continues after SGB procedure, the patient has a higher risk of sensitivity to stress, or the patient doesn't adhere to the after care suggested, the symptoms may reoccur. While the SGB can help with the symptoms of PTSD, it needs to be understood that it is not a cure, however, it is a highly effective treatment that is fast acting and can provide prolonged relief from debilitating symptoms. Patients often show the best results when they follow up their treatments with the help and guidance of a psychiatric professional.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and would like more information regarding the Stellate Ganglion Block procedure, please contact our office today.