Around 50 million adults in America experience chronic pain at some point in their lives. This pain can be caused by a whole range of different conditions and can have a huge impact on your quality of life.
Chronic pain can impact your ability to work, your financial security, and your personal relationships. On top of this, over time this can leave you more vulnerable to developing depression and other mood disorders.
Fortunately, help is at hand. Stellate Ganglion block treatment is an amazing way of targeting the chronic pain in your body for long periods of time.
So what exactly does this treatment involve and how does it work? Read on to find out everything you need to know about getting a sympathetic ganglion nerve block.
What Is Stellate Ganglion Block Treatment?
Stellate Ganglion Block treatment has been used for nearly 100 years to help manage chronic pain. As the name suggests, this treatment targets the Stellate Ganglion nerves in your neck.
These nerves are part of your body’s sympathetic nervous system. This is responsible for your fight-or-flight response to situations. This system also connects to your brain to help regulate pain in your body.
Stellate Ganglion Block treatment injects the Stellate Ganglion nerves in your neck with medication to numb (or “block”) them. You may also hear this described as a sympathetic Ganglion nerve block. This reduces their sensitivity and therefore the amount of pain your experience.
The doctor makes the procedure of local injection therapy of blockade in the occipital region of the head. Kotsnept treatment of diseases of the occipital nerve and pain in the head, muscle tension
What Conditions Can SGB Treatment for Pain Target?
A whole range of conditions can cause chronic pain. Fortunately, SGB treatment can help target a wide range of these, including:
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (resulting from an injury, a stroke, or a heart attack)
- Causalgia (chronic pain involving an intense burning sensation)
- Complex regional pain syndrome (type I or type II)
- Symptoms of shingles (particularly pain affecting your head, neck, arms, and upper chest)
- Phantom limb pain
SGB treatments are particularly effective for the upper body, arms, neck, and head. If you find that your pain is located in the lower half of your body, your doctor may discuss alternative treatment options. For example, a lumbar sympathetic nerve block for CRPS works in a similar way but targets pain in the lower back and legs.
SGB is also an effective treatment for certain mental health conditions. It can be particularly helpful for patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What Does SGB Treatment for Pain Involve?
Before you get a nerve block injection in Maryland is it important to understand what this involves.
As we already mentioned, the procedure itself involves injecting your Stellate Ganglion nerves. These are located in your neck.
Before the procedure, your doctor will discuss what will happen and answer any questions you have. They will also carry out an x-ray or ultrasound scan of your neck. This helps them identify the best location for your injection.
During the treatment, you will lie down and remain conscious. However, most doctors administer a numbing gel or local anaesthetic to make you more comfortable. If you are nervous, they may also give you medication using an IV to calm you down.
A specialist pain nurse will also be on hand throughout to support you and the doctor.
During the procedure, it is important that you stay still and avoid talking, swallowing or coughing. This could make the needles move. Fortunately, the procedure does not take very long.
Recovering from SGB treatment is very easy. Most doctors recommend that you rest up for 24 hours after having your injection. However, you will be able to return home within a matter of hours and continue with life as normal.
How Effective is a Stellate Ganglion Block for Pain?
The effectiveness of SGB treatment can vary from patient to patient. This often depends on the severity of your pain and the condition that you are targeting.
Some people find that their SGB block kicks in within 30 minutes of their procedure. Of course, you may find that the pain comes back a little after your local anaesthetic has worn off. Don’t worry though, your SGB block will still be doing its thing!
Within a few days, you should start to notice a significant difference in your pain. For example, patients with CRPS found that their SGB treatment reduced their pain by more than 50%!
Over time, the SGB treatment medication can wear off and you may find that your pain starts returning. Generally, an injection will last a matter of weeks but some people find that their injections last for months.
The majority of people have several injections to help manage their pain. Over time you will find that the effects of your injection last longer each time you have one.
What Are the Side Effects of SGB Injections?
Like most medical procedures, SGB treatment comes with a range of side effects. This can include:
- Tenderness or bruising around the injection site
- Bloodshot eyes
- Drooping eyelids (which may affect your balance)
- Nasal congestion
- A hoarse voice
- The sensation of having a lump in your throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Warm or tingling sensations in your hands or arms
Generally, these side effects subside within 24 hours of your procedure.
Doctors do not recommend getting SGB treatment if you have a fever, cold, infection or the flu on the day of your procedure. This treatment is also not suitable if you have high blood pressure or take blood thinning medication.
If you are struggling with chronic pain then getting a sympathetic ganglion nerve block could make the world of difference. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the other benefits of getting SGB treatment for chronic pain.
SGB Injections Are Simple and Straightforward
Getting a nerve block injection in Maryland is an extremely simple way of managing chronic pain.
The procedure itself takes less than 30 minutes and most doctors will keep you in recovery for around an hour. This means that you can be in and out of an SGB clinic within a matter of hours. So you could just take the afternoon off work for your treatment!
As we have already mentioned, there are some side effects of SGB injections. However, these wear off within a matter of hours and shouldn’t be too difficult to manage. If you are concerned about them your doctor will be happy to discuss these with you before your procedure.
In comparison, other pain management medications can come with major side effects that impact your day-to-day life.
SGB Treatment for Pain Offers Great Value for Money
It’s fair to say that SGB treatment is not a cheap pain management option. The price for this treatment usually starts at $1,750 for one injection. A lot of doctors offer a discount if you want to book multiple injections in advance.
However, over time these injections offer great value for money. In fact, a single injection can provide pain relief for weeks or even months at a time. Having a series of injections can also provide long-term relief for severe chronic pain.
This requires some financial planning. However, SGB injections have a long-term impact on chronic pain compared to other options, such as medication. They can also give you space away from your symptoms while you target the cause of your chronic pain (if this is an option for you).
Depending on the cause of your chronic pain and your health insurance provider, you may also be able to get help paying for your treatment. So it is worth speaking to your insurer and checking your policy before paying for your treatment.
Getting a Sympathetic Nerve Block in Maryland is Low Risk
Because SGB injections are simple and straightforward this also means that they are low risk. They mean that you can treat your pain without:
- Facing a long recovery
- Taking pain-management medication on a daily basis
- Managing the side effects of your medication
- Having a general anesthetic
On top of this, serious complications from SGB treatments are very rare. These can include:
- Infections at the injection site
- Nerve damage
- Collapsed lungs
However, these are very rare and the majority of patients recover from their injections within a matter of hours!
Get Support From an Experienced SGB Clinic Today
If you are struggling with chronic pain then help is at hand. Stellate Ganglion Block treatment offers quick, long-lasting pain relief. So you can get back to enjoying a pain-free life!
Want to find out more about SGB treatment in Maryland? Then there’s no need to start Googling “SGB treatment near me!” Make an appointment with SGB Docs today — we’re happy to help.