What is Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD?

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), about 3.5% of US adults are affected by PTSD every year. In addition to this, the APA estimates that as many as 1 in 11 people will be diagnosed with this condition in their lifetime. Because the Center for Sports Medicine and Wellness is dedicated to helping people achieve optimal health mentally and physically, we are proud to offer Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD treatment.

But what is Stellate Ganglion Block and how does it work to treat PTSD symptoms? Keep reading to get answers to all of your questions about this treatment and how it may be able to help you.

What is PTSD?

As defined by the American Psychiatric Association, “ Posttraumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.”

People struggling with this condition commonly experience distressing thoughts and feelings that intrude into their daily lives and may affect their ability to function normally. These distressing thoughts are related to the traumatic experience and last long after the experience. These intrusive thoughts may also lead to nightmares or flashbacks that cause them to remember the event in vivid detail, over and over. 

Eventually, they may begin to feel isolated from others, even close family and friends. They may also avoid anything or anyone that reminds them of the event or have adverse reactions when in seemingly normal situations.

Although a person needs to be exposed to a traumatic event in order to develop this condition, this may not be a direct exposure. It may also develop after repeated exposure to the details of a traumatic event.

It’s important to keep in mind that although PTSD is most commonly attributed to veterans, this is not the only group of people affected by this condition. Unfortunately, PTSD can develop in people from any ethnicity, nationality, or age group. According to the APA, women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD, despite this condition being most commonly associated with men.

What is Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD?

Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD is a treatment that blocks the cervical sympathetic chain. This connects your body to the parts of the brain that control the fight or flight response. It is believed that this “resets” the fight or flight responses, providing long-term relief from anxiety symptoms associated with PTSD.

Multiple peer-reviewed studies have shown that Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) therapy provides significant long-term improvement in chronic anxiety symptoms. In addition to this, many US military treatment facilities have used SGB therapy since 2010. It has proven to be a very effective PTSD treatment for thousands of service members who previously struggled with PTSD symptoms. 

How SGB Therapy Treats PTSD

The stellate ganglion is part of the cervical sympathetic chain, a key part of the sympathetic nervous system. It’s believed that PTSD symptoms are caused when a person’s fight or flight response is constantly activated. 

To treat this, Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD precisely places long-acting local anesthetic around the stellate ganglion. This deactivates the fight or flight response for several hours. This allows neurotransmitters in the brain to readjust, providing long-term relief from PTSD symptoms.

Once this has been “reset”, daily activities, sleep, relationships, mood employment, and more can be improved.

The SGB Therapy Process

During the procedure, long-acting local anesthetic is injected into the right side of the neck using ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance. The anesthetic is injected near the cervical sympathetic chain. Peer-reviewed studies have shown that injecting Stellate Ganglion Block into the right side of the neck provides significant long-term improvement of PTSD symptoms.

SGB therapy can be performed in as little as 15 minutes and the benefits of the treatment can be experienced within 30 minutes. Most patients also get relief from PTSD symptoms after just one SGB injection. Because SGB is a quick and simple procedure, you’ll also be able to return home the same day.

Get Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD in Delaware County

Prior to Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD, the most common way this condition was treated was with medication. Many people want to avoid being forced to take medication in order to get back to their normal function, and with SGB, that is now possible. We understand how important peace of mind is, which is why our office is happy to provide Stellate Ganglion Block therapy.

Dr. Brian Shiple and Dr. Eric Kephart are authorities in leading-edge orthobiologic treatments, advanced sports medicine, and minimally invasive procedures. Our doctors focus on providing an exceptional experience for all patients. Whatever your condition, we’ll create the right treatment program to get you back in the game of life!

If you’d like to learn more about our services or contact us to schedule an appointment, please call our office in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, at (610) 459-420 or fill out our form. We welcome your inquiry and we look forward to helping you get back to optimal health!

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