A Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is an injection procedure where local anesthetic is injected around the stellate ganglion (located at the base of the front of the neck) to temporarily block its function. Stellate Ganglion Blocks have been performed to treat sympathetically medicated upper extremity pain conditions since the 1940s.1 Alabama Pain Physicians is now offering this outpatient procedure to patients to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and long-term effects of COVID (Long COVID).
SGB for PTSD
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a source of considerable long-term morbidity and expense in military and civilian populations. Treatment can be challenging and discouraging due to the requirement of a multidisciplinary approach, active patient involvement, long duration of therapy, and stigma put on this disability. A 1990 report from The Clinical Journal of Pain described how a right-sided SGB treatment helped relieve symptoms of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy co-occurring with PTSD.2 This case report was the jumping point in extrapolating this finding to expand this into large trials that concluded the same thing: a right-sided Stellate Ganglion Block can significantly reduce symptoms for PTSD.
SGB for Long COVID
While you may be recovering from COVID-19, there are a high number of individuals that have developed long-term effects after having COVID (long COVID). What is long COVID? According to the CDC, post-COVID symptoms include tiredness or fatigue, fever, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, joint or muscle pain, chest pain, and more (follow this link to view all symptoms).3 Long COVID occurs because the body’s normally finely balanced nervous system has become disrupted, and we begin to see unwanted symptoms emerge and stay. To help treat this unbalance, a Stellate Ganglion Block injects local anesthetic causing the disruption to ultimately reset and rid the body of those unwanted symptoms.
How Alabama Pain Physicians Can Help
At Alabama Pain Physicians, our goal is to better the quality of life of our patients. We take your pain seriously and strive to establish an accurate diagnosis along with a treatment plan to ultimately minimize your pain. To determine the exact cause of your pain, our physicians will perform a physical exam and use your complete medical history to help find the best treatment options suited for you. In addition, you may also need imaging studies and tests to help determine the cause of your pain. Contact Alabama Pain Physicians today and let us help get you on the right track to managing your pain.