Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is an innovative new treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) utilized to treat anxiety and stress-related symptoms. Question. How does stellate ganglion block treatment compare with traditional amnesia in reducing the extent of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms following exposure to a terrifying event? Answer. It is a relatively new approach to a very old problem.
The medical community has been studying the effect of this treatment on patients with PTSD for over thirty years, and even though there has been a long-standing debate as to the efficacy of such treatments, the results have been promising. It is now widely regarded as being a valid, efficacious, and convenient post-traumatic stress disorder treatment adjunct to other post-traumatic stress disorder treatments. In fact, many patients and physicians alike often advise that SGB is an easy and effective way to complement ongoing therapy, especially when combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
The primary aim of stellate ganglion block (SGB) is to reduce the excretory activity of the ganglia, thus minimizing the symptoms of anxiety and fear related to exposure to trauma. According to research, this form of therapy can be very helpful in the management of symptoms of anxiety and phobias. It has been found to improve memory, reduce nightmares, nausea, and headaches and slow down the progression of the disorder.
The process by which the stellate ganglion blocks block the activity of the sympathetic nervous system has been compared to that of drugs such as naltrexone and lofexidine. While naltrexone acts directly on the opioid receptors to block the neurotransmitter release that results in the euphoric effects of endorphins, lofexidine blocks the entrance into the brain of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger of action which then causes the sensations of pleasure associated with narcotics such as heroin and morphine.
Both medications are known to have serious side effects which range from minor irritations to severe depression and anxiety. As opposed to these major side effects, however, there are no serious psychiatric or health risks associated with stellate ganglion blocks. This is why stellate ganglion block is a preferred treatment for patients suffering from neuropathic pain caused by damaged, infected, or inflamed nerves.
The first step in the treatment of neuropathic pain is the administration of local anesthetic agents such as lidocaine. Lidocaine's immediate action is to dilate the pupil of the eyes, allowing for better viewing of light and therefore allowing for more precise maneuvering of the patient's face.
After the administration of lidocaine, the patient lies down on a table to allow for complete sedation of the ophthalmic system. Local anesthetic ointments such as meperidine, benzocaine, acetaminophen, and methylphenidate are administered at different doses and intensities depending on the pain experienced. General anesthesia is required for higher dosages of lidocaine and local anesthetic for lower dosages of meperidine, acetaminophen, and benzocaine.
Once the initial caps-5 blocks have been placed, the treatment protocol proceeds with the addition of tricyclic anti-depressants (TCA) such as nortriptyline and atomoxetine; TCA's have the opposite effect on brain chemistry as those found in benzodiazepines. Research studies have revealed that TCAs can reduce both serotonin receptor agonists (the body's natural painkiller drugs) and neuropathic pain.
For this reason, researchers and treating physicians often recommend that TCAs are added during SGB treatment.
This enables participants to experience TCAs without experiencing side effects. Check out this post for more details related to this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sympathetic_ganglia