The medication in the injection’s solution relieves the pain (and the pain signals from the nerves) that reach the neck, upper arms, and head. Stellate Ganglion Blocks can also help improve the body’s circulation to the arms.
Keeping reading to learn more about Stellate Ganglion Blocks offered by Pain And Spine Specialists.
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Part of the body’s nervous system, the stellate ganglion are nerves (sympathetic) that are involved with movement and feeling in your arm and face. This complex collection of nerves is found at the sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae of the neck. If you are experiencing pain sensations in your face, neck, and arms, your physician may recommend a stellate ganglion block as a form of treatment.
A stellate ganglion block is a local anesthetic that is administered to the front of the neck. The medication in the injection’s solution relieves the pain (and the pain signals from the nerves) that reach the neck, upper arms, and head. Stellate Ganglion Blocks can also help improve the body’s circulation to the arms.
Outside of immediate treatment for pain symptoms, Stellate Ganglion Blocks are also utilized to determine the presence of nerve injury or problematic circulation.
These conditions include:
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Reflect sympathetic dystrophy
- Phantom Limb Pain
Whether used therapeutically to relieve pain or diagnostically to determine the source of your pain, Stellate Ganglion nerve blocks can be incredibly effective. If a patient is able to find relief from this injection, their doctor may recommend a series of these blocks for long term pain management.
How Do Stellate Ganglion Blocks Work
Stellate Ganglion therapy is an injection of local anesthetic in the sympathetic nerve tissue found in the neck. The nerves are located on both sides of the voice box found in the neck. Sometimes a steroid is combined with the medicated solution to prolong the pain-relieving effects of the injection. This injection is able to block the nerve signals from sending pain messages to the brain, thus managing your symptoms. While either as a diagnostic tool or therapeutic treatment, a stellate ganglion treatment can help you return to a fully functioning life.
The procedure is performed in a sterile environment. You will be positioned according to the location of your pain. The injection site will be cleansed using betadine or alcohol. Your physician will anesthetize your skin using local anesthetic. A small needle with medication will deliver the anesthetic to the site of pain. You may experience pressure at the site. The process may take up to 15 minutes to administer. You may begin to notice immediate relief, but it may take a day or two for the medication to take full effect.
The nerves, muscles, and tissue surround the affected area of the neck are bathed in the solution from the injection, reducing inflammation and pain. This allows patients to experience better mobility and help them return to a fully functioning life. Some patients may even benefit from the short term relief because it allows them to participate in physical therapy (another treatment method for neck, face, and chest pain) for long term relief.
What Conditions Do Stellate Ganglion Blocks Treat
A stellate ganglion block can assist your physician or pain management specialist in diagnosing the source of your pain. If your pain does not go away with the sympathetic block, then the source of pain is not the nerves in the neck. If the pain returns after the local anesthetic wears off, patients may require several injection treatments to maintain relief.
Stellate ganglion blocks also treat nerve injury like causalgia, pain from shingles, intractable angina, and pain from reflex sympathetic dystrophy. These sympathetic blocks can also treat poor blood circulation that is a result from Raynaud’s disease or CREST syndrome.
Immediately after a Stellate Ganglion Block, a patient may also experience a temporary increase in pain before the anesthetic is experienced. You will need to take precautions to not overexert yourself and injure the injection site. You will also be asked not to sit in any pools or tubs for 48 hours after the injection to prevent infection. The steroid medication may take 2-3 days to start having a full effect. Patients can use an ice pack applied to the area to alleviate any discomfort.
Pain and Spine Specialists offers progressive injection treatments like X-Ray guided fluoroscopy injections for neck, face, and chest pain, as well as other therapeutic approaches. Our experienced and skilled medical professionals can help establish effective injection treatments to help reduce your pain symptoms to improve the quality of your life. You can call (301) 703-8767 (Maryland), (724) 603-3560 (Pennsylvania), or (540) 433-1905 (Virginia) and schedule an appointment today.
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At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to quality care, and that is why you can find us conveniently located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.