Better Life Spine & Pain Center Team
Updated: Oct 5, 2022
Sympathetic blocks can be used for sympathetically mediated pain such as in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or for cancer pain.
What to expect:
Dr. Gilthorpe uses X-ray technology to guide a needle near the stellate ganglion, a bundle of nerves near the base of the neck. These nerves belong to the sympathetic nervous system, which is what prepares the body to react to stressful stimuli. He injects small increments of a pain-relieving medication to the area, thereby “blocking” the signal that’s sent to the brain. A stellate-ganglion block is an in-office procedure that takes roughly 30 minutes to an hour to complete and requires little to no downtime.
Studies show a stellate-ganglion block can offer patients relief from post-traumatic stress disorder for a few months up to a few years. Doctors liken this neck injection to restarting a computer, except in this case it involves the circuitry of the nervous system.
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