Living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be overwhelming. The condition’s negative effects can impact your quality of life, making it difficult to focus on work, relationships, hobbies, and general wellness. PTSD affects millions of people worldwide every year, often accompanied by anxiety, depression, and a host of other symptoms. However, there is a treatment option that has proven to be quite successful at minimizing the effects of PTSD on the body and mind. This treatment option is called the Stellate Ganglion Block, and in this blog, we will explore its impact on the quality of life of PTSD patients.
What is a Stellate Ganglion Block?
A Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is a minimally invasive procedure involving injecting a local anesthetic into the stellate ganglion, a cluster of nerves in the neck. This treatment option is intended to help minimize symptoms of PTSD such as nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and headaches. The success of an SGB can vary from patient to patient, but research has shown that up to 70% of patients experience significant improvement in their symptoms.
How does an SGB help PTSD Patients?
An SGB helps PTSD patients by blocking the activity of the stellate ganglion nerves, causing a reduction in symptoms. Overactive nerve activity is associated with many of the behavioral and physiological symptoms of PTSD, so immobilizing this cluster of nerves can reduce symptoms. The overall effect of an SGB on a PTSD patient can be transformative. Patients have reported relief from intrusive thoughts, hyperarousal, social isolation, anxiety, sleep disorders, and anger outbursts.
What does the research say?
The research community has been studying the impact of SGB on PTSD patients for many years. A recently published randomized clinical trial (RCT) evaluated the effects of SGB in 108 patients with PTSD and found significant improvements in overall PTSD symptoms. Across four SGB treatments, the study’s participants reported improved sleep quality, decreased nightmares, and overall reduced PTSD symptom severity compared to participants in the placebo-controlled group. These results suggest that an SGB can be an effective treatment option for patients living with PTSD.
What is the recovery process like?
One of the significant advantages of SGB is its minimally invasive approach. The procedure lasts only a few minutes, and patients can return home on the same day. There is no need for a hospital stay; most patients can return to normal activities immediately after the treatment. Some mild side effects have been reported, such as mild discomfort, hoarseness, or weakness in the arm for a few hours following the treatment, but these are generally short-lived.
Relieve the impact of PTSD.
Living with PTSD can be overwhelming and can limit your well-being in many ways. While many traditional treatments have helped relieve some PTSD symptoms, an SGB is a relatively new and effective approach that should be taken into consideration by patients and healthcare providers. While not all patients experience the same level of recovery following an SGB, the treatment is generally considered safe. It can be a beneficial option for those who seek minimally invasive and effective treatment for PTSD. The most important factor is finding a suitable form of help and support to help relieve the impact of PTSD and improve a person’s quality of life.