Are you among the 20% of adult Americans suffering from chronic pain? If so, you need to know about Stellate Ganglion Block for pain. What are they, and what do you need to know before considering them?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at getting an SGB injection for chronic pain and how they can help. We’ll also discuss the risks and side effects associated with this procedure so that you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for you. Let’s get started.
What Is Stellate Ganglion?
The stellate ganglion is a cluster of nerves that manage the communication between the brain and the body. It’s responsible for controlling processes such as blood pressure, heart rate, and sweating. The stellate ganglion is in the neck and upper chest area.
The stellate ganglion is also involved in pain signaling. When the area experiences inflammation or damage, it can send out pain signals even though there is no surrounding tissue damage. Neuropathic pain is the term for chronic, debilitating pain.
What Is a Stellate Ganglion Block?
A stellate ganglion block is a procedure that involves injecting a local anesthetic into the stellate ganglion to numb these nerves. This can provide relief from chronic pain, as well as other conditions such as migraine headaches and sympathetic dystrophy.
How Does It Work?
The stellate ganglion block works by interrupting the connection between the nerves and the brain. This interruption prevents pain signals from being sent to the brain, which can provide relief from chronic pain.
In some cases, the effects of the stellate ganglion block for pain can be long-lasting, providing relief for months or even years.
What Are the Risks and Side Effects?
As with most medical procedures, there are some risks and side effects associated with the stellate ganglion block. These include, but are not limited to:
- Nerve damage
- Allergic reaction to the medication
- Temporary increase in pain
- Facial flushing
Overall, the risks and side effects of the stellate ganglion block are considered to be low. However, as with any medical procedure, it’s important to discuss the risks and side effects with your doctor before proceeding.
What Does It Treat?
The stellate ganglion block is most commonly used to treat chronic pain. However, it can also be used to treat other conditions, such as:
- Migraine headaches
- Sympathetic dystrophy
- Complex regional pain syndrome
Doctors also use it to diagnose or treat circulatory or nerve issues and injuries. Some of these are:
- Complex regional pain syndrome (type I or II)
- Long Haul Covid
- Phantom limb pain
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (long-term pain that follows a stroke, heart attack, or injury)
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Causalgia (a burning feeling so severe it is almost impossible to tolerate)
It is also effective for treating mental health issues such as anxiety depression and PTSD. How Long Does It Last? The effects of the stellate ganglion block can last for months or even years. In some cases, the block may need repeating to maintain relief from chronic pain.
How Is it Administered?
The stellate ganglion block is done as an outpatient procedure. This means that you won’t need to stay in the hospital overnight. The procedure itself is quick, and you can go home the same day.
During the procedure, you will be asked to lie down on your back. The doctor will then clean and anesthetize the region with a topical anesthetic before performing the procedure.
You may feel a brief sting on the insertion of the needle, but the numbing medication should help to minimize any discomfort. After the procedure, the doctor will monitor you for any side effects. Once they are sure that you’re feeling well, you’ll be able to go home.
What Should I Expect After the Procedure?
After the stellate ganglion block, you may experience some side effects like the ones discussed above. These side effects are mild and temporary. The most common ones include:
- Soreness at the injection site
- Tingling or numbness in your arm or hand
These side effects should resolve within a few days. If they persist or if you experience any other side effects, you should call your doctor.
In some cases, the stellate ganglion block can provide long-lasting relief from chronic pain. However, the procedure is not a cure for chronic pain and it’s not suitable for everyone. Your doctor will be able to advise you on whether or not the stellate ganglion block is right for you.
Stellate Ganglion Block For Parosmia
Parosmia is a condition that causes a person to experience distorted or unpleasant smells. The condition occurs because of a variety of things, including:
- A head injury
- Nasal polyps
Parosmia happens as a result of using certain medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and epilepsy drugs. The condition can be temporary or permanent. Stellate ganglion blocks are successful as a treatment for this condition.
CRPS and Stellate Ganglion Block
CRPS is a condition that causes chronic pain, swelling, and sensitivity to touch. CRPS, like parosmia, is also caused by the use of certain medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and epilepsy drugs. This condition, too, can be temporary or permanent. The stellate ganglion block is a procedure that is successful at treating CRPS.
Stellate Ganglion Block for Back Pain:
Back pain is a common problem caused by things like muscle strain, bulging or ruptured discs, arthritis, osteoporosis, and more. The stellate ganglion block is effective in treating back pain.
Stellate Ganglion Block Cost
The cost of a stellate ganglion block can vary depending on many factors. These include things like your doctor’s fee, the hospital’s fee, the type of anesthesia used, the length of the procedure, and whether or not you have insurance coverage.
In general, the average cost of a stellate ganglion block is between $500 and $1,000. If you have insurance coverage, your insurer may cover some or all of the cost. You should check with your insurer to find out what your coverage entails.
Get Stellate Ganglion Block for Pain Today
If you want to try stellate ganglion block for pain, reach out to us at Pain And Spine Specialists. We are the top pain management experts offering stellate ganglion block in Columbia MD. You don’t have to live with chronic pain. We can help you find relief. Call us today to schedule a consultation.