More than 12 million adults living in the United States at the moment have post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. This is a psychological condition that occurs after someone has been involved in a traumatic event.
The symptoms of PTSD can have a profound effect on your daily life and mental health. They can also last for months or even years at a time. Fortunately, if you are living with PTSD, help is at hand.
There are now several treatment options that target the symptoms and underlying causes of PTSD. Stellate Ganglion Block treatment is the latest PTSD treatment and is changing the lives of people across America.
So what does this treatment involve, and how does it work? Read on to find out everything you need to know about using a Stella Ganglion Block as PTSD treatment in Mt Airy, Maryland.
Common Causes of PTSD
More than 70% of people will experience a traumatic event during their lifetime. This might be something that happens to them directly, or it might be something that they witness at close hand.
Most traumatic events that result in PTSD are life-threatening. These events can include:
- Physical or sexual violence
- Altercations involving weapons
- Serious accidents, such as car crashes, natural disasters, or fires
- Surviving a life-threatening illness
- Military combat
- Childhood abuse
When this happens, your body enters survival mode. This triggers a physical response, which subsides after the danger has passed.
If you suffer from PTSD, however, this response does not subside. This can result in a range of distressing symptoms that impact your daily life.
So what are Stellate Ganglion Block injections for PTSD, and how can they help?
What is Stellate Ganglion Block Treatment?
Stellate Ganglion Block treatment targets the Stellate Ganglion nerves in your neck. These are part of your body’s sympathetic nervous system and are connected to your brain’s fear center — the amygdala.
Originally, doctors used this treatment to manage chronic pain by numbing or blocking the nerves. As a pain management treatment, SGB injections have been around for nearly 100 years.
However, in recent years, doctors also discovered that blocking the nerves can also help to reduce symptoms of PTSD.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
A Stellate Ganglion Block (also known as SGB) for PTSD involves injecting the nerves in your neck with an anesthetic. This is usually performed by a trained pain doctor.
The anesthetic essentially numbs the nerves in your neck and reduces their sensitivity.
During your procedure, you will be lying down. Beforehand, your physician will determine the best location for your injection using an x-ray or ultrasound scan.
The recovery time for Stellate Ganglion Block injections for PTSD is very short. You will need to take it easy on the day of your procedure, but after this, you can continue with your life as normal.
To understand how this procedure can help with PTSD, you first need to understand the symptoms of this condition. Let’s take a closer look at these.
Understanding Symptoms of PTSD
The majority of your PTSD symptoms are caused by your body’s physical reaction to trauma. This is more than just remembering an event and feeling scared by it.
If your body remains in survival mode after trauma, you will constantly be using your fight or flight response. Your adrenaline levels will remain high. This can result in:
- Intrusive thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks caused by changes in your memory
- Chronic pain
- Emotional numbness towards the events and life in general
- Hyperarousal that leaves you feeling on edge
- Trouble focusing
- Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- Phobias around the circumstances of your trauma
- Mood swings
- Sudden outbursts of anger or violence
- Depression and suicidal ideation
- Drug or alcohol abuse
Ricocheting between these different responses can be exhausting for you. This also makes it difficult for you to process what has happened to you. Finding ways to control the sypmtoms of PTSD can go a long way to improving your quality of life.
How Do SGB Injections for PTSD Help?
Your sympathetic nervous system plays a huge role in your response to perceived danger. When you feel threatened, this system grows and triggers hyperarousal throughout your body.
If this does not subside once you are safe you will continue to feel anxious and on-edge. This will make it difficult for you to focus on daily tasks because your body is still prioritizing your safety. It can also make you act erratically.
As we already mentioned, this system is also connected to the amygdala, which is responsible for feelings of fear. This part of your brain becomes overstimulated if you have PTSD. This is what causes flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.
An SGB injection numbs the nerves in your sympathetic nervous system. This can make your body less sensitive to the events it has experienced. You won’t forget what happened but your symptoms will reduce significantly.
As a result, you will be able to process your trauma on your own terms and will find it easier to re-engage with daily life.
How Effective Are Stellate Ganglion Block Injections For PTSD?
It is important to note that Stellate Ganglion Block treatment for PTSD is symptom management. This will not cure your PTSD. However, when it comes to managing PTSD symptoms, SGB injections have proven to be very effective.
In fact, there have been several studies into its effect on PTSD already. In these studies, more than 70% of people said their SGB injection significantly reduced their PTSD symptoms.
One of the major benefits of SGB injections is how long they last. Most patients can enjoy reduced symptoms for 3 to 6 months after their injection. Some will experience its effects for even longer!
On top of this, SGB injections act quickly. You should start to notice a difference in your symptoms within an hour of your injection.
SGB for PTSD is more effective for some people than others and this depends a lot on your body’s reaction to your trauma. For example, it may be less effective on people who are experiencing symptoms of emotional numbness after a trauma.
You should discuss your symptoms with your doctor before treatment. They will be able to help you decide if this treatment will work for you.
Of course, its effectiveness is not the only benefit that Stellate Ganglion Block treatment has to offer. Here are some of the other benefits that make it popular with people across America today.
SGB For PTSD Provides Quick, Straightforward Relief
As we have already mentioned, SGB injections for PTSD kick in very quickly so they offer very fast relief.
This means they are a great treatment option if you find that your symptoms are becoming impossible to live with. In comparison, finding the right balance of antidepressants or a good therapist can take much longer.
On top of this, the procedure itself is minimally invasive and does not require a general anesthetic. After your injection, you will be up and about in no time at all.
Over time, the effects of your injection will wear off. Some patients will find that one injection gives them enough time to recover from their trauma.
However, if you would like another injection then this is simple and easy to arrange. So SGB can be used as a long-term treatment for PTSD symptoms as well.
SGB Injections For PTSD Offer Good Value For Money
Treatment for PTSD in America can be very expensive and a lot of health insurance providers won’t cover it. Fortunately, SGB injections are a lot cheaper than other treatment methods.
These cost $2,000 to $3,000 per treatment, including appointments and after-care. Because you may only need one injection every six months, this offers great value for money.
SGB Injections Are Low Risk
Psychological PSTD treatments, such as group therapies and CBT, tend to be low risk. However, using medication to manage your symptoms can be more problematic.
Antidepressants, for example, can cause weight gain, loss of libido, constipation, and headaches. With SGB injections, you do not have to worry about any of this.
Common side effects of SGB injections for PTSD treatment are incredibly minor and should subside within a few days. These include:
- Drooping eyelids
- Dry or red eyes
- Blocked sinuses
- Feeling like you have a lump in your throat
- Tingling sensations in your hands or your arms
- Trouble swallowing
More serious complications are very rare. These can include:
- Bleeding at the injection site
- Infection at the injection site
- Nerve damage
- Collapsed lungs
These affect very few SGB patients. If you are worried about any complications your doctor will gladly discuss these with you in advance.
Find PTSD Treatment in Mt Airy, Maryland
As you can see, a Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD can make a huge difference to your symptoms in a short space of time. This can provide effective, long-term relief so that you can focus on enjoying your life and recovering from your trauma.
If you want to learn more about getting a Stellate Ganglion Block in Mt Airy, Maryland, make an appointment with SGB Docs today. We’re happy to help.