Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD

Stellate ganglion block injections have shown to be an effective treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by muting the ganglion nerve which reduces stress signal that are sent to the brain.

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SGB for PTSD

Stellate ganglion block (SGB) is a treatment primarily known for increasing blood circulation/supply and targeting chronic pain from the stellate ganglion nerves. However, it is becoming a popular method for treating mental health disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder. 

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What Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in response to a highly traumatic, stressful, and scary event, or series of events. Examples of events that can trigger PTSD are physical abuse, sexual abuse, car accidents, combat exposure, losing a child, being the victim of bullying, 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.  

The side effects of PTSD can have people experiencing intense and disturbing thoughts in regard to their trauma, even years after it has happened. They can also have night terrors, where they replay the event, and harbor deep feelings of sadness, fear, and/or anger. People who are struggling with PTSD may start to withdraw from others and avoid places or things that may bring up traumatic memories. For a person to be diagnosed with PTSD they must be experiencing symptoms for at least a month and have a noticeable impairment in daily functioning, such as an inability to complete routine tasks. 


Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD

A stellate ganglion block injection for PTSD may provide short-term benefits for those who have not been able to find relief from traditional methods for managing symptoms or overcoming the disorder. SGB treatment specifically targets the stellate ganglion nerves, which are part of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system stems from the autonomic nervous system, the nerves that control involuntary bodily functions and responses. The nerves in the sympathetic nervous system react to dangerous or stressful events and make up the body's “fight or flight,” response, which acts to protect the person from harm. 

These nerve blocks for PTSD work by neutralizing the nerves and disrupting signals from being sent to the brain. This effectively turns off the “fight or flight,” response and gives the brain a reprieve from the high levels of stress and anxiety so that it can reset.  

Using SGB can allow a person to reclaim their life and can improve sleep, work, school, relationships, hobbies, regular daily activities, and more. SGB may also be a good option for military service members who may feel deterred from seeking traditional mental health services due to stigma. Stellate ganglion nerve blocks for PTSD have about a 79 percent success rate in comparison to traditional treatments for the disorder, with success rates of remission from traditional methods hovering around thirty to forty percent. Results can usually start to take effect around thirty minutes after receiving the injection and can last anywhere from months to years. Individual results will vary, but the odds of seeing positive effects, in general, are high. 

Stellate ganglion blocks have been shown to be effective and safe, with few side effects. The potential side effects or risks that accompany these injections are fever or chills, bleeding at the site of the injection, pain or bruising at the site of the injection, infection, and allergic reaction to the medication. The chances of developing any side effects are extremely low. If you have an active infection or cancer then you may not be a qualified candidate for this procedure, but you should talk with your doctor to see if this is a possible treatment option for you.    

You will need to find someone to drive you home after the procedure, as you should not drive for at least 24 hours, and you should not try to complete any rigorous activities. However, you should be able to return to all normal activities the following day. It is important to note that the nerve block will not dampen your emotions but will simply reset your “fight or flight,” response in order to bring back a sense of balance in the way you feel. 


Consider Other Mental Health Services

Post-traumatic stress disorder can become all consuming, as it is a response to traumatic situations that push a person past their thresholds, mentally and often physically. Treating PTSD can typically involve multiple approaches. While stellate ganglion blocks can make a difference, it is recommended to seek counseling services to receive the full benefits. 

Gemini Health, one of our sister offices we partner with, provides therapy services to those who are interested in getting treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Gemini Health offers a free consultation, where you will receive a mental health assessment with a professional therapist. This consultation should only take an hour and 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. 

Gemini Health offers the following variety of treatment options: 

• Outpatient Therapy: Unlike inpatient therapy, which requires people to move into a facility, the outpatient therapy program allows people to stay at home and in their community while they work on their issues. 

• Tele-Counseling: The office offers the convenient option of virtual counseling for all clients in either outpatient therapy or intensive outpatient therapy. Tele-therapy allows patients who may not be able to attend in person sessions access to the same level of care and counseling.  

• Intensive Outpatient Therapy: A course of treatment geared towards treating a wide variety of conditions. Clients who are suffering from addiction, depression, anxiety, and trauma can find this form of treatment more effective. 

 

Gemini TMS specializes in a treatment known as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, which is a non-invasive treatment that relieves several mental health conditions, including PTSD. With this treatment, a specialized TMS cap is placed on the head and sends out magnetic pulses to a targeted area of the brain that stimulate nerve cells associated with PTSD to restore normal levels of activity.  The magnetic pulses are painless and can provide long-term remission from symptoms. This treatment can also be used alongside talk therapy and medication. 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 post-traumatic stress disorder, 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. 

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At Pain and Spine Specialists, our pain management specialists 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 our locations conveniently located throughout MarylandPennsylvania, and Virginia.

Our Providers

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.

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Our Providers

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.

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