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Stellate Ganglion Block Side Effects

stellate ganglion block side effects

Medical science and technology have advanced incredibly quickly in the past century. Treatments and therapies have been developed for a wide range of disorders and diseases previously thought untreatable. Care for addiction has changed a great deal. Those addicted to alcohol were once relegated to being sent to insane asylums, and Sigmund Freud advocated for the use of cocaine to treat alcohol addiction. Nowadays, medical professionals understand that addiction is a disease that can be treated while respecting the client as a person and not as a collection of symptoms. However, treatments have become so complex that people are understandably concerned about possible side effects of procedures that they don’t completely understand.

Stellate ganglion block is one of the newest, most promising treatments for addiction. If you have been searching for Massachusetts stellate ganglion block options, the staff at Rockland Recovery are ready to ease your fears and explain everything you need to know. You can contact us at 855.732.4842 to speak with one of our knowledgeable admissions staff.

What Is Treated With Stellate Ganglion Block?

A stellate ganglion block is both a therapeutic and diagnostic procedure. It can offer relief from pain and other symptoms. A wide variety of conditions and disorders can be treated with stellate ganglion block, including:

  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Nerve injury
  • Shingles
  • Scleroderma
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Anxiety disorders such as PTSD
  • Addiction

Some patients report near-instantaneous relief from their symptoms, with many others finding at least partial relief in the days and weeks following the procedure. A stellate ganglion block can be effective for those who have already tried other treatment options and have not had adequate results.

How Stellate Ganglion Block Works

A stellate ganglion block is a type of injection that stops the nerves’ signals in the neck at the sides of the voice box. This collection is known as the stellate ganglion, and the procedure is so named because the end goal is to block these nerves from overloading the brain with the signals that trigger the fight-or-flight response. The stellate ganglion is responsible for the functioning of the sympathetic nervous system, which causes many of the effects of anxiety and addiction. A stellate ganglion block can allow the brain to reset and recover when the sympathetic nervous system is malfunctioning or overly active for a long period.

Many studies have found positive results when stellate ganglion block is used to treat anxiety disorders such as PTSD and substance use disorders rooted in anxiety. The treatment is also fast, taking around 15 minutes to be administered by a medical professional. Understandably, some people may be wary of injections to the neck. However, stellate ganglion block is a relatively safe and simple procedure that involves little pain for the client being treated.

Side Effects of Stellate Ganglion Block

Like any other invasive medical procedure, there is a chance that stellate ganglion block will have some side effects. However, most clients who undergo the procedure can usually go home the same day and return to normal activities after a short recovery period. So long as the procedure is performed correctly, the main side effects are similar to those experienced with any anesthetic injection and will disappear after some time. These can include:

  • Swelling and redness of the injection site
  • Temporary numbness in the arm
  • Eyelid droopiness
  • Temporary voice changes and hoarseness
  • Stuffy nose

A successful stellate ganglion block generally causes no lasting side effects that will negatively affect a person’s life. Clients with anxiety who give the brain a chance to reset with this procedure often report improved cognition, more restful sleep, and decreased anxiety levels, which are great results for the relatively minor risks involved.

Get Help for Addiction at Rockland Recovery

The Rockland Recovery facility in Weymouth, Massachusetts, has stellate ganglion block options for clients who enter addiction treatment. If you are wondering whether this treatment is right for you, our medical professionals can help determine the best approach to meet your needs and goals. Our stellate ganglion block treatment is an option that is offered across our comprehensive treatment plans. Programs we have to include:

  • Sober living
  • Men’s and women’s specific rehab programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs and partial hospitalization programs
  • Drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs

If you are interested in taking back your life from addiction, we are ready to help. Contact us at 855.732.4842 to break free from substance use and start living the life you deserve.

Medical Reviewer Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Medically Reviewed by Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Kate is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who has worked in the field of substance abuse for the last nine years. At Rockland Recovery, Kate works to provide resources to the local community and engage and progress Rockland Recovery’s alumni program.


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