The History and Benefits of Stellate Ganglion Block Treatments

Stellate ganglion block treatments continue to grow in popularity as more patients discover the various benefits of this treatment. Also referred to as SGB treatments, stellate ganglion block treatments can help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma-related pain. Additionally, SGB helps some patients struggling with depression and anxiety.

As more people begin recognizing the value of SGB treatments, it’s increasingly important to educate yourself and learn how SGB treatments can help you navigate trauma healing healthfully. The board-certified health specialists at SGB Docs are trained in the numerous benefits of SGB treatments and can help you understand why you should consider SGB treatment.

This article will guide you through the history and benefits of SGB treatment for physical and mental health pain conditions to help you decide if SGB treatment suits you.

What is SGB?

Before considering SGB treatment as a viable option for your health, it’s vital to know everything about SGB.

What is SGB? SGB stands for stellate ganglion block and is a treatment that helps address mental and bodily stress caused by trauma.

Though most commonly used for treating PTSD, SGB treatments can help with anxiety, depression, and traumatic injuries. SGB treatments involve a certified expert using an injection in your neck surrounding the area of your nerves that controls your “fight or flight” instinct.

By targeting this nerve, SGB treatments help calm your fight or flight response and lower high anxiety levels to provide lasting relief. A ganglion block injection is a local anesthetic injected directly into the nerves in your neck. The treatment lasts around ten minutes, and experts monitor your reaction for 15-20 minutes following the initial treatment.

SGB injections are valuable because they address the hyperactive system of your body that causes your anxiety. Following the procedure, you may experience less irritability and fewer anxiety attacks. The SGB procedure helps your body relax, and following the procedure, you might experience intense feelings of calmness and improved sleep health.

The History of SGB Treatments

If you hear about SGB treatments for the first time, you might ask: what is SGB treatment? This question is essential to determine whether you think this procedure applies to your situation.

SGB treatments have been used in the United States for pain relief since the 1920s. While it is unknown to many people seeking chronic pain relief, SGB has proven over time to be incredibly effective for many patients. Below is a brief overview of the of SGB treatments to help you understand its benefits.

First Use of SGB Treatment in 1925

Doctors first used stellate ganglion block treatments in 1925 in the United States. The procedure treated pain and provided relief for patients experiencing chronic pain symptoms. Following this, SGB treatments began expanding to other areas of healthcare treatment.

First Use of SGB to Treat Depression in 1945

SGB treatment was tested as a treatment for depression by doctors at the Cleveland Clinic in 1945. However, SGB still did not receive massive attention from doctors globally and remained a relatively unknown treatment for mental illness.

First Reported Benefits of SGB for Psychiatric Treatments in 1947

Two years after the initial administration of SGB for psychiatric help, psychiatrists reported the potential for positive psychiatric effects from SGB treatment. During this time, experts released the first literature on the psychiatric effects of SGB.

Physician Uses SGB to Treat PTSD in 1998

The first known use of SGB for treating patients with PTSD happened in 1998 when a Finnish doctor administered SGB to a patient suffering from severe hand sweating. After the treatment, the patient felt relief from his excessive sweating and PTSD symptoms.

First SGB Procedure Aimed at Treating PTSD in 2006

While few doctors knew about the benefits of SGB for treating PTSD and psychiatric conditions, pioneers like Dr. Eugene Lipov were among the few who saw this treatment’s full potential. In 2006, Dr. Lipov used SGB injections to treat a patient with PTSD.

Since Dr. Lipov first tested SGB for PTSD treatments, numerous individuals have received SGB treatment and noted its positive effects. SGB is commonly promoted as a treatment to help previous active-duty war veterans struggling with PTSD. Studies have shown that SGB treatment has a significant success rate and meaningful improvement in patients, with improvement rates falling between 70% and 75%.

First SGB Results Published in 2008

Dr. Eugene Lipov first published his SGB procedure results in a peer-reviewed journal that noted the effectiveness of SGB treatments for PTSD and the potential for further treatments and benefits for patients.

New Peer-Reviewed Research on SGB Conducted Between 2008-2019

Over the next 11 years, doctors and researchers continued to look into the potential for SGB as a treatment for PTSD and other mental health conditions. Among these research papers regarding SGB treatments was a landmark study in November of 2019, which ultimately resulted in SGB becoming implemented as a treatment option for PTSD.

What Are the Benefits of SGB Treatment?

Stellate ganglion block history shows the potential for SGB injections to treat numerous conditions, most notably PTSD. However, it is crucial to determine the specific benefits of SGB treatment. Knowing what to expect from a ganglion block injection will help you understand how the injections will benefit your health if you choose to receive them.

Feeling depressed. Woman wearing brown squared trousers feeling depressed after work problems

SGB Treatment Can Address Multiple Conditions

Many patients feel frustrated when they suffer from various conditions that all have a unique treatment process. For instance, suffering from chronic pain while also struggling with PTSD, depression, or anxiety is exhausting, especially when you can’t treat all your conditions simultaneously. Without effective treatment for your conditions, you might feel inclined to prioritize addressing one issue over another, helping you in one aspect of your life while forcing you to ignore another.

SGB treatment is the perfect solution for anyone struggling with this debacle. While many people use SGB injections to treat a specific condition, the treatment is not limited to solutions for one part of your health. If you have PTSD and chronic pain, you can address both issues simultaneously.

SGB Helps Reduce Symptoms

SGB is not a one-stop cure for mental health conditions, but it is essential for anyone looking to reduce and manage overwhelming symptoms. Symptoms common for mental health challenges like PTSD, depression, and anxiety can feel impossible to manage, making every aspect of your life difficult.

These conditions might make it difficult for you to get healthy sleep, maintain positive relationships, or complete your daily tasks. SGB treatments target these symptoms to improve your quality of life. Patients that receive SGB injections commonly feel better physically and mentally.

SGB Helps Manage Your Pain Levels

While it is frequently used by doctors as a treatment for PTSD, SGB doesn’t only benefit patients struggling with their mental health. SGB treatments are effective for their initial purpose, which was to treat chronic pain levels. If you experience chronic physical pain, SGB treatments could help your body relax and reduce your high pain levels.

SGB Resets Your Fight or Flight Response

SGB is essential for treating symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, and depression because it targets the “fight or flight” nerves in your neck. The injections essentially reset your body and brain to a natural state before the trauma occurred. Many people experience results shortly after the treatment and notice that their fight or flight response gets replaced with a sense of calm.

SGB has a High Success Rate

SGB treatments benefit anyone suffering from pain, PTSD, anxiety, or depression for their previously documented benefits. SGB treatments have a high success rate, and numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of SGB injections. Studies have found that 3 out of 4 patients with PTSD experienced positive results with SGB treatment compared to other treatments.

The Positive Impacts of SGB Can Last

Many patients worry that treatments like SGB injections will show results that fade away quickly, returning them to their previous pain level. Though the length of which SGB relief lasts differs for everyone, studies have shown that SGB relief symptoms generally last between a few months and potentially a few years.

Relief begins at different times for patients, meaning that you might start feeling strongly positive effects anytime within the minutes, days, or weeks after receiving your injection. Additionally, you may feel the positive effects of SGB injections longer if you get another injection 4-8 weeks after your first.

Initial Results Happen Almost Instantly

Though the full effect of SGB benefits typically begins a few hours or days after injection, many patients will start feeling initial results minutes after their treatment. Patients don’t have to wait to have the worst of their pain and anxiety reduced when receiving an SGB injection, and many feel that their anxiety is significantly lower by the end of their appointment. Because SGB injections immediately block signals from your fight or flight response, anxiety relief can happen in minutes.

SGB Has Other Potential Benefits You May Not Know About

Though SGB has proven effective for patients with chronic pain, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and trauma-based pain, there are other potential symptoms that SGB may treat. While not as widely researched, some patients receiving SGB treatments feel their overall quality of life improved. Patients may experience decreased alcohol and substance use following SGB treatment and improved cognitive functioning.

Furthermore, SGB injections can help with migraines, hot flashes, complex regional pain syndrome, lymphedema, post-herpetic neuralgia, and hyperhidrosis.

Short-Term Side Effects to be Aware Of

While stellate ganglion block treatment can benefit you in numerous ways, like any treatment, there is the chance for minor side effects. Side effects of SGB treatments are typically minor and disappear shortly after the initial injection. However, it is crucial to remain aware of these possible side effects to avoid worrying about any post-treatment reaction. Below are the primary side effects of SGB treatment.

  • Feelings of warmth
  • Red eyes
  • Tingly sensation
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Feeling like a lump is in your throat
  • A strained and raspy voice
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Nasal congestion 

Am I a Candidate for SGB?

Anyone suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety, depression, or trauma-based pain could benefit from SGB treatments. Suppose you seek SGB treatment but are unsure of any previous mental health diagnosis. You may be more likely to benefit from the injection if you have experienced specific traumatic situations. For instance, you might be a candidate for SGB treatment if you have experience with any of the following:

  • Domestic violence and volatile relationships
  • Sexual abuse and assault
  • Military service
  • Road accident or other life-threatening accident
  • Vicarious trauma

An Stellate ganglion block injection specialists preparing an injection shot

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

How Treatment Works With SGB Docs

If you feel that SGB treatment will benefit you, you must find an effective and local center for SGB treatment. Columbia, Maryland, residents may consider experts like the specialists at SGB Docs, which also provides locations in different parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

SGB Docs follows a specific treatment process to ensure proper health and safety during your visit. At the start of your visit, a board-certified doctor will administer a local anesthetic into your neck via injection. This process typically takes around ten minutes, and the doctor will monitor your reaction afterward.

SGB Docs use image guidance technology to make its procedures as accurate and pain-free as possible. You will likely begin feeling the positive effects of the SGB injection 15-20 minutes after the treatment. The doctors at SGB Docs are double board certified and have administered SGB injections for more than five years, putting you in safe hands for this new experience.

SGB Docs work with you to find an advanced and comprehensive solution to any pain, anxiety, and trauma you experience. PTSD causes your body to remain in a constant state of stress and anxiety, making everyday life feel impossible. Disrupting stress signals with SGB treatment is crucial to living a happy and fulfilling life, and the experts at SGB Docs are among the best.

To begin scheduling an appointment or to find out more information about SGB and the team at SGB Docs, contact SGB Docs experts today to start this potentially life-changing process.

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