The role of your brain and nervous system in your health and wellness is complex and not always easy to understand. It can be hard to believe that a single type of procedure, a stellate ganglion block (SGB), could help with physical and mental health concerns.
However, you should know that SGB treatment shows promise as an effective therapy for chronic health and wellness issues like long haul COVID-19 and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that involve your sympathetic nervous system. SBG treatment can also address symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and more.
The Alpenglow Pain & Wellness team, under the leadership of interventional pain management specialists Dr. Nichelle Renk and Dr. Mary Beth Calor, treats patients with complex pain and wellness problems from our location in Anchorage, Alaska. Could SGB treatment be right for you? Here’s what you need to know.
Your sympathetic nervous system controls your “fight or flight” response. Symptoms including fatigue, anxiety, depression, brain fog, and even complex pain may be related to abnormal sympathetic nervous system activation.
The cervical sympathetic chain of nerves, located on the side of your neck, is a major center of the connection between your brain and the rest of your body. Electrical signals travel through this chain of nerves, giving your brain information and generating responses in the rest of your body.
That’s why both physical and mental symptoms can be addressed with a nerve block in this area, known as your stellate ganglion.
SGB treatment seeks to increase blood flow to your brain and rebalance your sympathetic nervous system, shutting down negative feedback loops relating to symptoms like neck pain, upper chest pain, brain fog, and chronic anxiety.
At Alpenglow Pain & Wellness, we start your treatment with an injection of local anesthetic delivered with a thin needle. We then use fluoroscopic technologies to precisely guide and target your SGB injection.
You recline in comfort on a treatment table as the injection of anesthetic medication begins to block activity in the targeted area. We can provide calming medications for you to use during your treatment. You could start to feel symptom relief results in as little as 30 minutes!
Studies show that SGB treatment is an effective treatment option for symptoms of so-called “long haul” COVID-19, which could otherwise linger intrusively for months after you recover from active COVID-19 infection.
SBG treatment also shows promise for complex pain and mental health conditions, including PTSD, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and CRPS type I and II. Increased cerebral blood flow after treatment appears to be a key element of how SGB treatment helps you heal from these types of chronic conditions and sympathetic nervous system involvement.
SGB treatment is minimally invasive, and the procedure doesn’t take long to complete, typically 15 minutes or less. At Alpenglow Pain & Wellness, we recommend repeated injection treatments for more lasting results. Each injection treatment can relieve symptoms of pain, fatigue, or anxiety for multiple weeks at a time.
Find out more about whether you could benefit from SGB injections. Call Alpenglow Pain & Wellness at 907-677-7246 today to book your appointment, or schedule now with our easy-to-use online tool.