Blocking Problematic Nerves

Nerve Blocking The bane of having a cell phone is the unknown callers offering all sorts of bogus schemes. You answer the call, hear the bogus threats of IRS imprisonment or other calamity, and then what do you do to that number? Block it.

That’s kind of how Dr. Trujillo looks at problematic nerves in your neck. To get these particular unruly nerves to behave, he applies a stellate ganglion block.

What is the stellate ganglion?

The stellate ganglion is part of the sympathetic nervous system. This collection of nerves is found at the level of the sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae, the last vertebra of the neck. The nerves are located in front of the vertebrae. The stallate ganglion nerves travel along both sides of your spine. They supply the face and the arm and are associated with a wide range of bodily functions that you don’t consciously think about. These include blushing, heart rate, sweating, and the dilation of your pupils.

Why block these nerves?

A stellate ganglion nerve block is an injection that numbs these nerves. This helps diagnose or treat circulation problems or nerve injuries, including:

  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Causalgia
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type I or II
  • Herpes zoster infection (shingles) affecting the head, neck, arm, or upper chest.
  • Phantom limb pain

How is this done?

We first give you intravenous medication to relax you. You lie on an x-ray table, and we locally numb your neck near your voice box. Then, using x-ray guidance, Dr. Trujillo inserts a needle and injects the anesthetic. The anesthetic bathes the nerves. This acts to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes.

How long will this block last?

Pain relief varies between patients. Some patients are pain-free for days or weeks. Most patients need a series of injections to continue the pain relief. It may take two injections; it may take as many as 10. Pain relief tends to last longer and longer with each additional injection.

Do you have chronic pain? There’s no reason to live with it. Call us at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic Associates, (855) 768-4968, to schedule an appointment.

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