Stellate ganglion blocks (SGB) were first used in the 1920’s for the purpose of chronic pain relief but have since been used to treat other medical conditions like anxiety. SGB has been one of the more successful forms of medical treatment for anxiety, in comparison with traditional methods.
To learn more about the benefits of Stellate Ganglion injections for Anxiety, select an option below:
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Anxiety is the body’s natural physiological reaction to fear and stressful situations, which activates the “fight or flight,” response. Anxiety is predominantly characterized by feelings of nervousness and apprehension, usually triggered by a specific event. While the fight or flight response was once the body’s way of protecting itself from dangers, like with predators, it is now brought on by things like public speaking or test taking. Anxiety is a natural human feeling, but people may experience this emotion at extreme levels, on a regular basis, which can indicate a deeper problem.
Symptoms of anxiety can range from emotional to physical. These symptoms can be anxious thoughts or feelings, a sensation of spiraling, irritability or low mood, heart palpitations, sweating, headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, and depression resulting from anxiety. Those who suffer from anxiety are not able to get past their anxiety and may even get worse over time. Anxiety can significantly interfere with a person’s daily life, including aspects such as job performance, school work, relationships, household chores, exercise, and much more.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, 3.5 percent of adults in the United States are affected by PTSD, and around one in eleven people will be diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lifespan. Anyone with PTSD is at risk of developing an anxiety problem.
Stellate Ganglion Block Treatment for Anxiety
If you are dealing with the effects of anxiety stemming from PTSD then speak with your doctor so that you can find out what treatment options are available to you. One treatment you may be recommended is a stellate ganglion block, which is one of the more successful forms of anxiety therapy in comparison to traditional methods.
Stellate ganglion blocks are a type of injection that can be used on certain nerves in the body to help with anxiety. The nerves that are targeted are known as the stellate ganglion nerves, which are located in the front of the neck and are part of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system stems from the autonomic nervous system, which are the nerves that control involuntary bodily functions and responses. The stellate ganglion nerves control the amygdala, located in the brain, which deals with survival instincts and the way a person expresses emotions, particularly those like fear. The amygdala is stimulated when a person has an anxiety problem and produces a response that leads to the symptoms associated with anxiety.
The SGB block for anxiety is an injection of local anesthetic to numb the targeted nerves and reduces this response of the amygdala. Specifically, less of the neurotransmitter known as norepinephrine (the stress hormone) is produced and signals of anxiety are no longer sent to the brain. The brain is not being fed constant messages that make it believe it is in danger and is given the chance to calm down and reset.
Stellate ganglion nerve blocks have been shown to be a safe and effective option, with few risks. The chances of general side effects occurring are very low and chances of serious side effects are even lower. Results can usually start to take effect around thirty minutes after receiving the injection and can last anywhere from months to years.
Being treated with SGB can allow a person to reclaim their life and can improve sleep, work, school, relationships, hobbies, regular daily activities, and more. Anxiety and related symptoms do not have to control you. You can take action now and start getting treated for your anxiety with safe, scientific based methods.
Consider Other Mental Health Services
Gemini Health, one of our sister offices we partner with, provides therapy services to those who are interested in getting treatment for anxiety. Gemini Health offers a free hour long consultation, where you will receive a mental health assessment with a professional therapist. After the consultation, the therapist will make a recommendation for different therapy approaches based on your specific needs and wants. A person-centered plan is designed to help you meet your goals while providing effective treatment. Once this is done then you may start a group or individual therapy that has been recommended for you.
Gemini Health offers the following variety of treatment options, which incorporate evidence based practices:
• Motivational Interviewing: This is a collaborative counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities. Motivational interviewing allows a person to find the motivation they need on their own to be able to change their behavior.
• Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: This therapy is a modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy that teaches people the skills they need to cope with stress. People are then able to regulate their emotions and change self-destructive behaviors.
• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A popular type of talk therapy that focuses on changing thoughts and behavior to improve anxiety symptoms. This therapy teaches people better life and coping skills and has been shown to effectively treat anxiety by improving a person’s ability to function.
• Cognitive Processing Therapy: CPT is a type of therapy that seeks to address how a person views themself and challenges any negative perceptions. This gives people the ability to take control of their thoughts and, therefore, their lives.
Gemini TMS specializes in a treatment known as transcranial magnetic stimulation. This form of treatment, also referred to as TMS therapy, is another effective method of treating the symptoms of anxiety and is usually used when medication and talk therapy have previously failed. TMS is a non-invasive procedure that involves the use of magnetic fields to stimulate the nerve cells in the brain. To conduct TMS therapy, a specialist will place a TMS cap on the head, which sends out magnetic pulses to a targeted area of the brain that have been mapped out beforehand. It is painless and does not require any overnight stays. If you wish to schedule an appointment for your first consultation, call (301) 363-1063.
Start Getting Treated Now
If you find yourself suffering from the effects of anxiety and think SGB is the solution for you, call Pain and Spine Specialists today! We are a team of highly qualified providers who will properly evaluate your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment. Let us help you return to a fully functioning life, free from pain. Call (301) 703-8767 (Maryland), (724) 603-3560 (Pennsylvania), or (540) 433-1905 (Virginia) and schedule an appointment today.
SGB for Anxiety are often used as an alternative to or in combination with the following treatments.
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