Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD and Anxiety

Learn how the Stellate Ganglion Block can provide innovative relief for PTSD and anxiety

Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD and Anxiety

Learn about the Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD in Dr. Kaveh's video. The summary of this innovative treatment for PTSD is below:

How Long Has the Stellate Ganglion Block Been Used?

The stellate ganglion block (SGB) was first used in 1925 to deactivate the "fight-flight" response, or the sympathetic nervous system. It was initially performed without X-ray or ultrasound. Today, we use the ultrasound for SGB, making it more comfortable, safer, and more effective. You can see Dr. Kaveh performing the ultrasound scan of a patient's Stellate Ganglion in preparation for a block in the video above. He identifies the nerves and blood vessels and finds exactly where the numbing medication needs to be injected.

What Medication is Used in the SGB?

Local anesthetics, like novacaine, are used to numb the nerves in the Stellate Ganglion. There is no hallucinogenic medication used for the SGB.

Do You Block the Left or Right Stellate Ganglion?

Typically, we start by blocking the right side of the neck. In some patients, we follow up with the left side after a few days. The numbing medication we inject lasts for hours, but its effects on PTSD symptoms can extend much longer.

What are the Psychological Impacts of SGB?

The human brain is hardwired to learn and adapt, a concept known as neuroplasticity. The brain's adaptability helps us understand how the SGB heals patients with PTSD and anxiety. When the SGB breaks the habitual "fight-flight" response to triggers, the brain learns to form new connections and responses to triggers. This interruption of the sympathetic nervous system's usual response can be a powerful tool in retraining the brain to handle stress and trauma differently.

How Does SGB Work with Ketamine Therapy?

Combining SGB with IV ketamine therapy can enhance the effects of both treatments. While SGB works on a neurological level to calm the fight-flight response, Ketamine aids in resetting the mind-body connection. This combination offers a synergistic effect, opening a window of opportunity for more profound healing. It's not a cure-all, but it unveils the incredible healing potential within the brain and body, especially when paired when therapy.

Side Effects and Other Uses of Stellate Ganglion Block

Like any medical procedure, the SGB has can have side effects. The most important side effects occur on the side of the block:

  • Horner's syndrome (droopy eyelid, constricted pupil)
  • Warmth of the arm
  • Nasal congestion or stuffiness
  • Redness in the eye

These side effects are temporary and are the result of blocking the sympathetic nervous system. They indicate a successful SGB. The side effects also explain why the SGB is used to treat conditions like Raynaud’s and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) with its reduction in sympathetic nervous system activity.

Can the Stellate Ganglion Block Help You?

SGB is a powerful tool for patients struggling with PTSD and related anxiety. Its ability to provide rapid, profound relief is a testament to the untapped healing potential within us. Schedule a free consultation with Clarus Health to learn if the Stellate Ganglion Block and IV Ketamine Therapy are right for you.

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.