What to Expect During Your Stellate Ganglion Block

The stellate ganglion nerve cluster sounds confusing and intimidating. But this important nerve bundle is actually located at the base of the neck. These nerves direct movement and impulses in the face and neck. 

A stellate ganglion block consists of medication to numb the related nerves to treat pain and swelling. Since the nerves in the stellate ganglion also form connections with the amygdala, which is responsible for regulating the fear response to threatening stimuli in the brain, stellate ganglion blocks are also used to help treat people experiencing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

At Republic Spine and Pain, we offer minimally invasive and integrative therapies like nerve blocks at our offices in Georgetown and Austin, Texas, to help ease and manage neck and back pain, as well as mobility issues and injuries.

What to expect during your stellate ganglion block treatment

The stellate ganglion is located in a sensitive area near your throat. Fortunately, the procedure is minimally invasive, and you will be sedated so that you’re comfortable. 

Damage to the stellate ganglion nerves can cause pain in the head or torso. Stellate ganglion blocks are also used as a diagnostic tool to find the cause of pain in the head, arms, or chest.

After the area has been sedated, a shot of anesthesia is applied to numb the stellate ganglion nerves. The nerves are located near the vocal cords, so you may experience hoarseness for a few hours following the procedure. Other possible symptoms include eye redness, drooping, and a warm sensation on your face. Any lingering effects typically wear off within a few hours of the procedure.

The effects of stellate (also known as sympathetic) ganglion blocks are gradual, so the pain relief usually happens gradually instead of all at once. Our pain management specialists will track and monitor your results and recommend the best pain management plan for your symptoms. 

Why are sympathetic nerve blocks performed?

A sympathetic nerve block is performed to manage or diagnose the source of pain in the head, neck, or torso. Often, stellate ganglion blocks are also used to treat nerve pain caused by a shingles infection (herpes zoster) or pain related to angina attacks or phantom limb pain.

For more information about nerve blocks and other pain management treatments and therapy, contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our two convenient locations in Georgetown or Austin, Texas.

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