*The FDA has not approved intravenous ketamine or NAD+ for the treatment of any psychiatric or pain condition. These articles reference off-label use. Like all medical treatments, the discussed therapies carry risks and benefits. Speak with a doctor at Clarus Health to learn if these therapies may be right for you.

Long COVID? Stellate Ganglion Block Resets the Body

Learn how the Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) can help reduce POTS and chronic fatigue from long COVID

Long COVID? Stellate Ganglion Block Resets the Body

Long COVID is a debilitating condition that affects up to 10% of infected people. Symptoms vary widely and include:

Unfortunately, symptoms can last for years. ME/CFS and dysautonomia may be a lifelong and may explain why so many people with long COVID are unable to return to work.

Long COVID affects organs throughout the body, including the cardiovascular system, lungs, immune system, pancreas, and gastrointstinal tract. Stellate ganglion blocks can help addres some of these dysfunctions.
From Davis et al. Nature 2023

Long COVID and Chronic Fatigue, Dysautonomia

Various viruses can result in long term nerve dysfunction, called dysautonomia. This can contribute to chronic fatigue, experiencing unrefreshing sleep, cognitive dysfunction, abnormal heart rate and blood pressure, and loss of taste/smell. Like so many other viruses, SARS-CoV2 can also cause this, though we don't know for certain how. It is likely a result of nerve damage, called small fiber neuropathy.

We believe this is why viral infections cause our autonomic nervous system to malfunction. Unfortunately, a dysregulated nervous system appears to worsen hyperinflammation, during and after the infection. This hyperinflammation is related to an overactive "fight-flight" response that causes persistence of COVID symptoms.

Viral infections cause chaos in our nervous system, which in turn worsens inflammation, and thereby causes persistent COVID symptoms

Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) to Treat Long COVID

The Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is a 100-year-old technique used to quiet the sympathetic nervous system, or the "fight-flight" response. It is an injection of local anesthetic (like Novocaine or lidocaine) in the bundle of nerves responsible for activating your "fight flight" response (called the "Stellate Ganglion"). Because of the dysregulated sympathetic nervous system in long COVID, SGB has been studied as a "reset" to the nervous system. This has brought rapid symptom relief in most patients, with improvements occurring within minutes to hours:

  • Fatigue (77% of patients finding relief)
  • Brain fog (80% finding relief)

The loss of taste and smell appears most resistant to treatment with SGB, with only 56% experiencing improvement. Other studies have also shown SGB's benefit in long COVID. You can learn more about SGB and the immune system here.

How Does SGB Help Long COVID Neuropathy and Fatigue?

We suspect the sympathetic nervous system reset with SGB helps long COVID symptoms in several ways:

SGB Has Many Other Benefits

It should not come as a surprise that the Stellate Ganglion Block has numerous other benefits, as well. Quieting the sympathetic nervous system can improve PTSD, anxiety, irritability, and other conditions related to high stress environments.

Timing of SGB May Be Important After COVID

It is believed that the longer the body has been infected, the greater the degree of maladaptation to the illness. The longer the maladaptive immune system response, the more challenging to treat the condition. This is observed in other chronic illnesses related to Lyme Disease and ME/CFS.

Therefore, the sooner the "nervous system reset" after the insult, we believe the greater chance of symptom improvement.

You Deserve Relief from Long COVID Symptoms

Long COVID is a challenging condition with few treatment options. You deserve to grow and heal from your long haul COVID symptoms and uncover your innate healing potential. Schedule a free consultation with Clarus Health to learn if the SGB may be effective in healing from your long COVID.

Anthony Kaveh MD

Anthony Kaveh MD

Dr. Kaveh is a Stanford and Harvard-trained anesthesiologist and integrative medicine specialist. He has over 800,000 followers on social media and has guided hundreds of patients throughout transformative healing experiences. He is an authority on Ketamine, NAD, and SGB therapies. He is a registered continuing education lecturer in the Bay Area.