Posttraumatic stress disorder is a chronic anxiety disorder that is caused due to perceived or experiencing traumatic events. Sometimes things happen to people that are unusually horrible, frightening, or traumatic. For instance, people go through a severe accident or see someone being killed or an earthquake or flood. Several cases of acute stress reaction are likely to resolve in one year. However, some people continue to experience intrusive memories of these harmful events that lead to trauma-related activities and have negative thoughts and feelings that lead to persistent anxiety and depression. People diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder often lead to prolonged debilitating symptoms and dysfunction.
Basics about stellate ganglion block
Stylet ganglion is a type of nerve at the base of our back which is seen as the command center from where sympathetic impulses reach the neck, head, arm, and chest region. Blocking the satellite ganglion blocks the sympathetic nervous system, which provides relief from neuropathic pain.
History of stellate ganglion block use for post-traumatic stress disorder
PTSD Stellate ganglion block has been a routine process in pain medicines. It has been used to suppress sympathetic neurological ailments, including complex regional syndrome. Research done in 1990 reported that using this block technique leads to PTSD symptoms in patients that experience PTSD.
How does the stellate ganglion block help patients with PTSD?
Firstly patients need to know that the block regulates the sympathetic nervous system, and it is not a cure. There are chances that the symptoms might return with an incidental trigger. Patients will benefit from repeat treatment if they have one positive response, at least with the process. The body will release cortisol stress hormone during traumatic situations due to the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis. The nervous system is also activated in our body.
It can be assumed that external cortisol injection obviates the need for the adrenal axis and sympathetic nervous system.
Stellate ganglion features a nervous system connection with the brain center that is activated in patients that have post-traumatic stress disorder. The block reduces the nerve impulses and messages sent to the brain center, relieving post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
There is a massive increase in the nerve growth factor when patients go through post-traumatic stress disorder, which increases the levels of norephedrine in the brain. The increase in these levels exasperates the symptoms of stress disorder in patients. Therefore, it is hypothesized that blocking the stellate ganglion surprises the nerve growth factor that leads to the minimum Norepinephrine levels and reverses post-traumatic stress disorder’s cascade.
What can patients expect at a procedure visit?
After completing the legal framework, the medical assistant needs to check the vitals and have the patient lie on their back on the X-ray table in the procedure room. Next, patients need to turn their neck slightly to the left side for a right-sided stellate ganglion block, and at this time x-ray is taken using the fluoroscopic machine. The physician will then perform a fluoroscopic guided stellate ganglion block on the patient. The patient will likely feel a tiny pinch as a small 2-inch needle is introduced through the skin until it touches the cervical spine side. A small number of contrast dyes were also injected to see the spread of dye inside the patient’s neck.
Patients can talk during the injection. However, if they have any new or strange sensations, then the patients must convey the same to the treatment provider. Above all the treatment is beneficial and one must not think twice before going for this process.