Stellate Ganglion Block As Diagnostic Tool For Pain

If you are experiencing unexplained pain in the region of the head, neck, chest or arms, you may be a good candidate for a diagnostic procedure performed at The Pain & Spine Institute to help determine the cause of your discomfort. A Stellate Ganglion Block may prove to be both therapeutic as well as diagnostic when it comes to treating pain caused by such health issues as nerve injury, angina or shingles.

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Stellate Ganglion Block - man holding the back of his neck

What is Stellate Ganglion Block?

Also called a sympathetic block, a Stellate Ganglion Block is a diagnostic procedure in which a skilled doctor makes an injection of local anesthetic into the front of the neck, an area in which a collection of sympathetic nerves known as the stellate ganglion are located. If your pain is not responsive to the effects of this injection, this provides the doctor with useful diagnostic information. If the pain goes away for a period of time, more injections can be scheduled in order to obtain pain relief. In some cases, there is no evidence of a sympathetic block and the level of pain remains unaffected, requiring further investigation.

Is this procedure painful?

This procedure is done at the Clinic under full medical supervision to ensure the highest level of safety. You may feel some discomfort as the doctor presses on your neck to locate the proper area for injection of the anesthetic as well as a sensation when the needle is inserted. You cannot talk, cough or swallow for the 5 to 10 minute period involved in locating the right area and inserting the needle. The intravenous needle will stay inserted for up to 20 minutes while you are directed either to remain laying down if the issue is head pain or sit up if the pain is in the area of the arms.

Are there side effects or risks?

When you undergo a Stellate Ganglion Block, temporary weakness or numbness, seizure and allergic reactions are possible, but highly unlikely because each patient is questioned about their medical history and any current infections prior to the procedure. Your blood pressure and skin temperature are monitored throughout the procedure. A tender sensation in the neck, a droopy eyelid, hoarseness and a slight loss of balance are temporary side effects. Operating a motor vehicle for the rest of the day is prohibited to ensure your safety.

Stellate Ganglion Block - woman doing yoga pose

What are the benefits to a Stellate Ganglion Block?

This procedure offers a very precise and accurate method for treating pain in the head, neck and upper extremities. It is a minimally invasive procedure that is safe and effective as performed by the experienced and caring staff of the Pain & Spine Institute.

This highly advanced diagnostic and therapeutic procedure may help liberate you from neck, head, arm and chest pain. Take that first step toward pain relief by scheduling a consultation with the Pain & Spine Institute regarding the viability of the Stellate Ganglion Block for helping you.

To learn more about Stellate Ganglion Block pain management contact the Pain & Spine Institute of Joliet, Ill., at 1-888-362-7472 or 815-729-0700.

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