Stellate Ganglion Injection Facts & Information
If you are suffering from chronic pain or weakness in your arms, head, or face, you understand how physical disabilities can take away your peace of mind.
Stellate ganglion injections can determine if the sympathetic nerves in the neck, located on either side of the voice box, are the cause of your problems – and treat the damaged area in order to relieve the pain.
With any pain condition, catching the symptoms in the early phase will only help you during the healing process. With stellate ganglion injections, patients who receive treatment tend to respond better than those who wait.
How Do Stellate Ganglion Injections Help?
Sympathetic nerves are responsible for a variety of functions in the body such as blood pressure, temperature regulation, blood flow, and more. Sometimes a sympathetic nerve may be unnecessarily stimulated, causing blood vessels to constrict and result in poor circulation to an upper extremity.
When a problem with the sympathetic nerves on the sides of the neck (cervical spine) occurs, you can experience pain and weakness in your arms and head/face.
Stellate ganglion injections are an important diagnostic test to determine if sympathetic nerves in the neck are causing your pain. But the injections are also a treatment, providing long-lasting relief.
How Long does the Procedure Take?
Stellate ganglion injections are safely performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure typically requires 30 minutes, including preparation time, and is followed by a short period of observed recovery time.
How Often Should this Procedure be Done?
Up to three injections may be given within a six-month time frame. Usually, injections are performed two to three weeks apart. A set of three injections in normal; however, you may gain considerable relief after the first or second injection. In that instance, further injections may not be necessary.
What are the Expected Results?
Stellate ganglion injections successfully relieve pain generated by sympathetic nerves. Immediately following the procedure, you should not drive for several hours because you may experience temporary numbness or weakness in an upper extremity. Some patients temporarily experience reactions such as droopy eyelids or hoarse voice.
It’s recommended that you take it easy the day of the procedure, but return to your usual activities the following day. Although initially you might have some soreness at the injection site, the benefit from these injections will typically occur a few days following the procedure.