June 20

How Does A Stellate Ganglion Block Work For PTSD and Anxiety

Did you know that 7.8% of Americans will experience PTSD symptoms during their lifetime? Military service members are even more at risk, with 30% of veterans experiencing PTSD.

And yet, only 50% of PTSD patients seek treatment. Often, the road to recovery can be long and grueling, and many don’t want to try different prescription medications that result in various side effects. Have you wondered, “how effective is SGB for PTSD?”

A stellate ganglion block injection can help your PTSD symptoms, anxiety, and other debilitating side effects. And the best part is that it works within days rather than weeks! Are you still interested?

Luckily, we have put together a complete guide on how an SGB injection works and how it can benefit you, so keep reading on for more information!

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder. It can onset months after a person experiences a traumatic event or situation. PTSD is characterized by four primary symptoms:

  • Flashbacks
  • Avoidance
  • Reactivity
  • Mood

If you deal with PTSD, you may experience nightmares, insomnia, memory loss, or depressive symptoms. Some people avoid situations, people, or places that trigger PTSD symptoms. Other situations, like fireworks or crowded areas, are common triggers for PTSD patients with a military background.


PTSD and Anxiety

It is not uncommon to experience more than one mental health disorder. Flashbacks and triggers can cause severe anxiety. The American Psychological Association often includes PTSD and anxiety together.

Recent mental health employment bias claims found that 60% of charges were for PTSD and anxiety.


Treatments for PTSD

In many instances, PTSD precipitates anxiety. Although, it is challenging to pinpoint how multiple mental health disorders are intertwined. Ultimately, managing your PTSD symptoms could reduce anxieties associated with flashbacks, nightmares, social situations, or other triggers.

Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments. While these can be effective for some, psychotherapy may not work for everyone, and medication can result in adverse side effects. Additionally, medication changes could take weeks before you start noticing a difference.

Stellate ganglion block (SGB) injections are alternative treatment methods that offer quick results to manage PTSD and anxiety symptoms. You can use SGB injections with other treatments like:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Journaling

It has minimal side effects that should disappear shortly after the injection. If it works for you, it could mean the end of daily medication and help you live your life more fully.

A brain above a hand

What Is a Stellate Ganglion Block Injection?

A stellate ganglion block injection is a therapeutic procedure used to help reduce symptoms of PTSD. Approximately 80% of the population has a bundle of sympathetic nerves in your C7 spinal region. These sympathetic nerves branch into C7, C8, and T1.

Visceral branches extend into the thoracic plexus while other nerve branches travel to your brachial plexus. An injection targets the center of these nerve bundles, resulting in systemic effects. The procedure is quick, and you should have minimal downtime afterward.

It doesn’t need to be performed in a hospital setting and is often performed under local anesthesia. Since you may be drowsy afterward, you should have someone drive you home.


How Does a Stellate Block Work?

A ganglion block treatment is an injection delivered via ultrasound or fluoroscopic. You will need a qualified clinician for this procedure since it involves an in-depth knowledge of anatomy to avoid any complications.

Your stellate ganglion is located on the anterior portion of your neck. As your clinician guides a needle into it, a local anesthetic is injected, and the needle removed. You may need an x-ray afterward to check for any adverse reactions.

Who Can Benefit From a Stellate Ganglion Injection?

A ganglion injection is a widely used treatment for many medical diagnoses. Here are some medical conditions that a stellate ganglion injection can help with:

  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Raynaud disease
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

It benefits patients dealing with physical, emotional, and mental symptoms associated with their diagnosis. Some contraindications for a stellate ganglion block injection are patients who have had or are currently dealing with:

  • Myocardial infarction
  • Glaucoma
  • Emphysema
  • Cardiac conduction block

If you have failed other treatments, stellate ganglion block is an excellent option that delivers fast and effective results.

How Effective Is SGB for PTSD?

A ganglion nerve block for PTSD is highly effective. An SGB injection suppresses your fight or flight response, lowering distressing signals and reducing your PTSD symptoms. It helps promote healthier neuropathways and cognitive functioning without the intense emotional and physical symptoms associated with PTSD.

The most recent study conducted in 2019 looked at the benefits of SGBs for PTSD treatment. They found that two treatments spaced two weeks apart effectively lowered PTSD symptoms after eight weeks.

The limitations of this study are primarily related to longevity and duration. Since SGB injections are relatively newer treatment options for PTSD, there are still ongoing clinical trials honing in on its efficacy.

Currently, there is a clinical trial using the success of previous small studies to spearhead a four-year trial. It will examine 360 veterans with chronic-PTSD symptoms.

Where To Find “Ganglion Block Maryland”

Have you searched for “SGB injection Maryland“? Since SGB injections aren’t widely used, you may not find them in every clinic. Here are a few tips to ensure that you find a qualified clinic:

  • Ask about their experience with SGB injections
  • Ask about their experience working with patients with PTSD
  • Read online reviews
  • Research credentials and licensure
  • Ask family and friends for recommendations

At Shakthi Health and Wellness, the goal is to help patients improve their overall health and wellness. Some of the treatments offered at Shakthi Health and Wellness other than SGB injections are:

Whether you deal with metabolic syndromes, poor gut health, or mental health disorders like PTSD and anxiety, complementary medicine could help you! With our vast experience, you can rest assured that we have the expertise, training, and qualifications to administer a stellate ganglion block.


Are There Other Treatments for PTSD Available?

Ganglion block and PTSD go hand-in-hand, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to other alternative treatments. Most people use a ganglion block because they have failed other treatments like medication or psychotherapy.

However, alternative and complementary medicine can benefit patients dealing with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. For example, acupuncture is a traditional Chinese practice that holds many benefits for:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Allergies
  • Headaches
  • Digestive complications
  • Fatigue

How does acupuncture work for mental health illnesses like depression? Acupuncture combines your body and mind. The precipice on which acupuncture bases its technique is finding ways to heal the entirety of the body.

There are particular spots on your body that a qualified acupuncturist can target for depression or other mental health symptoms. Studies for alternative medications are limited and difficult to analyze. However, research shows that compared to a placebo, acupuncture helped reduce depressive symptoms.


Substance Use Disorders and PTSD

Unfortunately, PTSD is often a co-occurring disorder. A co-occurring disorder is when you have one or more diagnoses. In this case, a patient may be dealing with PTSD and a substance use disorder.

The development of a substance use disorder is usually in the form of alcohol. Among chronic PTSD patients, 46% have an alcohol use disorder.

Patients with PTSD are nearly 14 times more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those without! Primarily, it is used as a self-medicating tool when patients are unable to find success with other routes. You want a clinic that specializes in treating the entirety of a patient.

NAD+ infusions aid in the addiction recovery process. It replenishes your body’s supply of NAD, which facilitates improved cognitive and physical functioning. Other benefits of NAD+ infusions include:

  • Mental clarity
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced depression

Ask about NAD+ infusions if you also struggle with anxiety or substance use disorder.

Start Managing Your PTSD and Anxiety

Have you wondered about finding an SGB treatment in Elkridge Maryland? Now that you can answer the question “how effective is SGB for PTSD?” it is time to get scheduled for your next appointment.

If you have tried and failed other treatment methods, an SGB injection could deliver effective results to help you get back on track. Additionally, improvements in PTSD symptoms could indirectly help with depression and anxiety.

At Shakthi Health and Wellness Center, we specialize in SGB injections and other complementary treatments for PTSD. Contact us today to get scheduled!


health and wellness, mental health

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  1. Traditionally used for PTSD survivors, we’ve given stellate ganglion block injections to patients who have suffered from false pain sensations. Phantom limb pain, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and causalgia are only naming a few.

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