If you are looking for a fast-acting neck pain treatment, consider getting a stellate ganglion block at an Advanced Pain Medical Group clinic in California.
Our specialists have years of training and clinical experience diagnosing and treating complex forms of pain that general practitioners might not be equipped to recognize.
What Is The Stellate Ganglion?
The stellate ganglion is a cluster of nerves located in the front of the neck, on each side of the voice box. It is part of the sympathetic nervous system, which increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing in response to stress.
Injecting medicine directly into this nerve cluster can relieve neck, head, upper arm, and upper chest pain and help your doctor diagnose the underlying causes of your aches.
A Quick Fix For Neuropathic Discomfort
Unlike some treatments, a stellate ganglion injection usually takes effect within 20 minutes, lasting anywhere from several hours to several months. One treatment session is not a permanent solution for chronic pain, but it can typically be performed every three to four weeks, depending on your management needs.
The local anesthetic will typically wear off within a few hours or days, but the positive changes it creates can last longer, especially throughout multiple sessions.
How Is A Stellate Ganglion Block Performed?
A stellate ganglion block is typically performed by a pain doctor or anesthesiologist using an IV. The doctor will use a thin needle to slowly inject a numbing medication or steroid into the stellate ganglion nerve cluster over 5-10 minutes.
The injected solution may also include a contrast dye that the doctor can track using imaging guidance (such as an x-ray or ultrasound) to confirm accurate placement.
Types Of Pain A Stellate Ganglion Block Can Treat
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Phantom Limb Pain
- Pain Due To Shingles
- Causalgia (Burning Pain Due To A Nerve Injury)
Nerve Blocks Can Relieve More Than Physical Pain Alone
A stellate ganglion block may even help treat debilitating conditions that do not necessarily involve neuropathic pain but are still regulated by the sympathetic nervous system.
Some prime examples include PTSD, panic disorder, and severe clinical anxiety, as the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the body’s fight-or-flight response. Moreover, emerging research shows that it may even work as an experimental treatment for the loss of smell due to COVID-19.
What To Expect After Your Appointment
After the procedure, you might experience temporary neck discomfort, bruising, a headache, bloodshot eyes, or weakness in your hands and arms, so you won’t be able to drive for the rest of the day.
These side effects should subside fairly quickly, but in rare cases, people may experience severe allergic reactions, seizures, and nerve damage. Taking blood thinners, having an active cold, flu, or very high blood pressure can put you at risk for serious side effects.
Because of this, it’s essential to have a thorough and honest discussion with a specialist before undergoing this procedure, as everyone’s body is different.
Seek Treatment From A Head, Chest, & Neck Pain Clinic In SoCal
Life with chronic pain can be a hellish experience, but you don’t have to lose hope, as there are many treatment options you can explore your primary care physician might not offer that.
Pain management specialists have spent years honing their skills to identify and treat complex forms of pain that general practitioners may not be trained to recognize. Contact our office staff today to schedule an appointment at any of our eight locations across Los Angeles, Kern, and Ventura Counties.