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Stellate Ganglion Block

Stellate Ganglion Blocks are a treatment that have been used to help relieve a variety of conditions such as severe chronic pain, long COVID symptoms, and fibromyalgia. The stellate ganglion is part of the sympathetic nervous system that travels through your neck, next to your voice box.

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for mobilizing the body's energy stores in response to stress or emergency. It does this by triggering the adrenal glands to release the hormone adrenaline, which then prepares the body to fight or flee. This system also controls heart rate, blood pressure and other key functions.

When it's working properly, the sympathetic nervous system helps us handle emergencies and daily stressors. But when it's overworked, it can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and chronic pain.
Diagram of a Stellate Ganglion Block procedure


People who can benefit from stellate ganglion blocks include those with the following conditions:

  • Chronic pain
  • Parasonmia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Long COVID
  • Stellate Ganglion Block Procedure

    The stellate ganglion block is a nerve block injection of local anesthetic or steroids into the stellate ganglion, which is a nerve bundle located in the neck. This block can help to reduce pain and inflammation in the head, neck, and shoulders. It can also help to improve symptoms such as mood swings, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping.

    The procedure for stellate ganglion blocks begins with a consultation with Jeff Toups, CRNA NSPM-C to determine if this procedure can help you with your symptoms. If you are a candidate, an appointment will be scheduled. The procedure will begin with a physical examination to identify the location of the stellate ganglion. Once the location is identified, numbing medicine will be given at the site. Jeff Toups uses only ultrasound to guide his needle and anesthetic placement in order to minimize x-ray exposure. Once the proper needle placement is confirmed, the anesthetic or steroid is injected into the nerve bundle.

    Results & Recovery

    Some patients report to feeling relief immediately. There is typically little to no recovery time following a stellate ganglion block. Most people feel relief from their symptoms shortly after the injection.

    What are the potential side effects?

    However, some people may experience minor side effects such as nausea, headache, temporary facial numbness or dizziness. If these side effects occur, they typically resolve within a few hours.

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    Jeff is Professional, kind and very good at what he does. willing to try new treatments and knowledgeable on the new things that are out.

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    Article is written by Jeff Toups, CRNA, Blake Armstrong and Grace Ascione RN MBA
    Jeff Toups
    Author Jeff Toups
    Learn More about Jeff Toups

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