Stellate Ganglion Nerve Block Specialist

Southwest Pain Management -  - Pain Management

Southwest Pain Management

Pain Management Specialists & Pain Management located in Irving, TX

If you’re always on edge and experience regular flashbacks caused by PTSD, you might benefit from a stellate ganglion nerve block injection. This safe and simple treatment is available now at Southwest Pain Management in Irving, Texas, where the experienced clinicians can administer the injection in their office procedure suite. Find out more about stellate ganglion nerve blocks and how they can ease PTSD anxiety by calling Southwest Pain Management today, or book an appointment online.

Stellate Ganglion Nerve Block Q&A

What is a stellate ganglion nerve block?

A stellate ganglion nerve block (SGB) is a treatment that involves injecting anesthetic medication into a cluster of nerves called the stellate ganglion.

The stellate ganglion is in your neck, and it’s a part of your sympathetic nervous system. This part of your nervous system controls automatic responses, like sweating when you get hot. It’s also where your fight-or-flight response comes from, preparing you to deal with any threats.

Stellate ganglion blocks can be helpful in treating chronic pain in the head and neck and increasing blood flow to the arms. SGB injections are beneficial for patients who have conditions involving nerve pain, such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and post-herpetic neuralgia.

What is post-traumatic stress disorder?

A serious form of anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects people who’ve been involved in or witnessed traumatic events. It can also develop after years of being in a traumatic environment such as an abusive relationship.

PTSD causes symptoms such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hypervigilance
  • Mood swings
  • Anger
  • Problems sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Social withdrawal

One of the principal symptoms of PTSD is having flashbacks. These can happen when you see, hear, or smell something that reminds you of the traumatic event. The trigger takes you right back to the time you experienced the trauma that’s causing the PTSD, so you relive it again.

How does a stellate ganglion nerve block help with PTSD?

There’s growing evidence that stellate ganglion nerve blocks can alleviate certain PTSD symptoms such as:

  • Hyperarousal
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Anxiety

Sean Mulvaney, MD, from Maryland appeared on 60 Minutes recently to share his experiences of treating veterans for PTSD with stellate ganglion nerve blocks. Researchers aren’t sure exactly how stellate ganglion nerve blocks work, but there’s a link between the role of the stellate ganglion in the fight-or-flight response and the fight-or-flight responses experienced by people who have PTSD.

Stellate ganglion nerve blocks appear to calm an exaggerated flight-or-fight survival reflex in people living with PTSD. Veterans who receive stellate ganglion nerve blocks for other health conditions, such as nerve pain, report positive effects for their PTSD symptoms. Success rates are as high as 80% even after a single injection.

Stellate ganglion nerve blocks aren’t a cure for PTSD, and they don’t have any effect on depression or other symptoms typical of patients who have PTSD. Neither do they treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, seizure disorder, personality disorders, or other mental health conditions. 

The experts at Southwest Pain Management can perform a stellate ganglion nerve block for you at their office procedure suite. Call today to schedule a consultation, or book an appointment online.