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Treatment for PTSD, Insomnia, Chronic Anxiety in Arizona

Conditions that generally respond well to the Stellate Ganglion Block:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Generalized anxiety disorders
  • Post-partum depression
  • Anger/Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Burning sensation in the upper extremity
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS, also called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy [RSD])

PTSD Treatment

Over the last several months, I’ve done a deep dive into finding different ways to help patients who are suffering from chronic anxiety, insomnia, and PTSD. Why?  Because these things interfere with our body’s ability to heal and can worsen the perception of pain.  This deep dive started after I had a patient who was suffering from severe chronic pain due to a very traumatic car accident that still caused Post Tramautic Stress Disorder. His PTSD was to the point where every injection we did for his chronic pain resulted in significant flashbacks of the original trauma (which was over 40 years prior).  My soul was hurting for this patient.

 

Stellate Ganglion Block in Arizona

This deep dive led me to the Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB), which is an extremely precise injection of a local anesthetic in the neck that targets the stellate ganglion, which is a collection of special nerves in the neck.  The local anesthetic temporarily blocks this highway of nerves, which is responsible for carrying information from the ‘fear brain’ to the rest of the body.  This means that the SGB hits the reset button of the sympathetic nervous systems response to ‘triggers’, which helps calm down the ‘fight or flight’ response that many people have with their triggers.

The SGB can be used in a wide variety of conditions that involve an overactive sympathetic nervous system, ranging from anxiety and insomnia, all the way to PTSD.  For many patients with traumatic experiences or PTSD, the reduction in the sympathetic nervous system produced by the SGB creates an opportunity for other treatments, such as EMDR, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, neurofeedback, and others.

 

Anxiety Treatment in Arizona

High functioning C-Suite executives may also benefit from the SGB due to a reduction in sympathetic activity, improving strategic decision making under high stress.  The author of this summary receives them on a quarterly basis in order to remain calmer and more focused during stressful times owning and managing a medical practice.

Our standard protocol for SGB is to perform two blocks within a 10 to 14-day period.  We have found that piggybacking the second procedure off the first produces longer-lasting effects.  Furthermore, supporting the body with intravenous micronutrients such as NAD, Taurine, Vitamin C, and B-Vitamins has a synergistic effect with the SGB.

CRPS Treatment in Arizona

For patients with CRPS, weekly injections for 4-8 weeks are generally recommended, however, these protocols are very individualized to the patient’s response.

For those who are interested, here is an excerpt from one of the pioneering physicians who has brought the SGB back into the spotlight of modern medicine:

“The Stellate Ganglion Block was first used in the United States in 1925.  The original purpose of the procedure was to provide relief of chronic pain.  It has been administered millions of times since then, all across the globe. SGB was first used for depression in 1945 in The Cleveland Clinic. Unfortunately, its psychiatric impact potential was forgotten. Then in 1998, a Finnish physician treated a patient who was suffering from both severe hand sweating and PTSD. The procedure for hand sweating involved modulating the sympathetic nervous system in the upper chest… Much to the doctor’s surprise, the patient reported relief of hand sweats as well as relief from his PTSD symptoms.”
~ Eugene Lipov, MD

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