Therapies can help a lot of people. Physical therapy done by the right professional can help you avoid joint pain later in your life. But those with chronic PTSD spend years treated with medications and therapy and still don’t get better. They have experienced life-threatening or traumatic events and because of that their whole nervous system has gotten locked into protecting them from danger. The world feels unsafe to them. And at last, they do the best they can to live with their bodies in overdrive. 

Research has shown that stellate ganglion block (SGB) is an effective and minimally invasive treatment for eliminating symptoms that comes with PTSD and other conditions such as anxiety, depression, Migraines, etc. For now, it appears to be a promising option, especially for those who have tried at least other treatment options and continue to have significant PTSD symptoms. Hence, it is natural to wonder how could a single shot make a difference?

Tell me more about it

Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is an injection administered by a doctor or a healthcare professional into the neck. It works by working on the nerves located near the voice box. The whole procedure has been administered for decades. So, you might wonder what’s new about it? What’s new is its use for PTSD. 

How does it work?

PTSD is a serious problem and if your close relative or friend suffers from it then you know how hard it is to live with such extreme symptoms. The sympathetic nervous system that is in flight or fight has been known to play a part in PTSD; extra nerves grow after extreme trauma. This leads to high levels of norepinephrine which is an adrenaline-like substance that further activates the amygdala which is the fear center of the brain. This results in PTSD symptoms. A part of the sympathetic nervous system (called Stellate Ganglion) controls the activation of the amygdala. Doctors currently are placing SGB on the stellate ganglion to relieve the symptoms of PTSD. 

Who will benefit from this?

PTSD causes people to suffer from elevated fight or flight responses. If someone in your known is suffering from ptsd stellate ganglion block can work on the nerves involved in mediating these responses. These treatments reset the brain to baseline or how it used to be at pre-traumatic levels. The result has been seen within 30 minutes and can last from a few months to a year. However, do remember that results vary per patient but it comes with minimal risks and no major side effects and could help patients regain control of their life. 

Should one go for it?

If someone is exhibiting the symptoms of PTSD, they might be on the lookout for effective treatment. Deciding whether an SGB injection is right for your family member or friend is a decision you need to discuss with your doctor or therapist. However, if you have tried other therapy such as prolonged exposure therapy, cognitive processing, and cognitive-behavioral therapy then it might be a wise option to consult with your doctor about SGB injection. 

Bottom line?

It might be too good to be true that a simple shot in the neck could bring resolution of chronic post-traumatic stress symptoms. SGB is not a cure for PTSD. However, it is a highly effective, well-tolerated, fast-acting, technique that provides prolonged relief from the symptoms of PTSD. It is seen that if the patient is currently suffering from fever, cold, infection, or the flu then it is not safe to have an SGB. Before getting this, let your doctor know right away about any condition you are suffering from.