The head, neck, upper arms and upper chest are all impacted by the stellate ganglion, a group of nerves in the neck. This nerve bundle sends signals to the brain from these areas. Nerve damage or interference in the stellate ganglion can be a source of chronic pain. A stellate ganglion block injection can help diagnose nerve conditions and offer pain relief for certain upper body issues. Hanowell Spine Clinic in Covington, GA, offers stellate ganglion blocks as one of our treatment and diagnostic options.
The stellate ganglion is a part of the sympathetic nervous system that is impacted by certain injuries or conditions. Shingles, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), phantom limb pain and reflex sympathetic dystrophy can all involve the stellate ganglion nerves, sending pain signals to the brain. The patient can suffer chronic pain in their upper arms, shoulders, neck, head and upper chest due to nerve damage. Stellate ganglion blocks identify nerve damage and offer relief for many patients.
Performing a Stellate Ganglion Block Injection
To stop unwanted pain signals from the nerves in the neck, a stellate ganglion block injection can be performed. The stellate ganglions are located on either side of the larynx in the neck, relaying nerve signals for each side of the upper body. To perform stellate ganglions blocks, a local anesthetic is injected into the side of the neck affected with pain. This numbs the area before the x-ray guided needle is used to deliver an anti-inflammatory medication to the stellate ganglion.
Stellate ganglion blocks may require 3-5 days for the medication to take effect. If successful, the injection minimizes pain and offers relief. Some patients may require multiple injections to obtain or sustain the results.
If you have chronic pain in your head, neck, upper arm or upper chest, you may benefit from stellate ganglion blocks. For an accurate diagnosis of your condition and to learn more, contact Hanowell Spine Clinic, and schedule a consultation.