Stellate ganglion block is a nonsurgical pain management treatment at Novus Spine & Pain Center in Lakeland, FloridaA stellate ganglion block is a nonsurgical pain management option available at the Novus Spine & Pain Center in Lakeland, Florida, for treating chronic pain. This minimally invasive procedure can provide relief for many different types of pain. The procedure blocks the transmission of nerve signals to the brain and can significantly reduce pain levels. The block can help improve the quality of life by reducing chronic pain to a manageable level. This article explains the procedure.

In This Article:

What Is the Stellate Ganglion?

The stellate ganglion is a part of the sympathetic nervous system. This bundle of nerves is located on either side of the voice box in the neck and is responsible for delivering many face and arm sensations (including pain signals) to the brain. Blocking these nerves may help stop the pain signals.

What Is a Stellate Ganglion Block?

A stellate ganglion block (also called a cervicothoracic sympathetic block) is an injection of an anesthetic into the stellate ganglion nerves to help ease pain in the head, neck, upper arm, and upper chest.

Doctors use stellate ganglion blocks to diagnose or treat nerve injuries or issues with circulation. It is primarily used in the treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The procedure can also help relieve upper extremity pain that has not responded to other treatments.

The stellate ganglion block procedure was first used in the United States in 1925 to help relieve chronic pain. The procedure may be repeated multiple times as needed to help control pain. It is also a diagnostic procedure to help determine the cause of pain.

Conditions Treated with Stellate Ganglion Blocks

A stellate ganglion block is helpful in managing a variety of pain conditions, such as:

  • Causalgia (an intense burning sensation).
  • Complex regional pain syndrome.
  • Herpes zoster infection (shingles) affecting the head, neck, upper arm, or upper chest.
  • Hot flashes and sleep dysfunction related to hot flashes.
  • Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating not related to heat or exercise) in the face and upper extremities.
  • Phantom limb pain.
  • Poor circulation in the upper extremities.
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (long-term pain after an injury, stroke, or heart attack).
  • Refractory (intractable) angina.
  • Scleroderma.
  • Shoulder/hand syndromes.
  • Vascular insufficiency (such as Raynaud’s or frostbite).

Stellate ganglion blocks may also help in the treatment of certain mental health conditions, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.

There is also promising new research using stellate ganglion blocks to help long COVID symptoms (fatigue, brain fog, loss of smell, and a change in taste). Stellate ganglion blocks lead to more blood flow, which may help ease long COVID symptoms.

Who Can Benefit from a Stellate Ganglion Block?

A stellate ganglion block may help treat nerve pain in the head, neck, upper arm, or upper chest that does not respond to other pain treatment procedures.

Some patients report immediate pain relief, only to have the pain return once the local anesthetic wears off. Others report relief lasting beyond the local anesthetic. The length of relief is different for each patient. Some may be pain-free for days or weeks.

Usually, a series of injections are necessary for continuous pain relief. Some patients may require only a couple of injections. Others may require ten or more. Patients find the relief tends to last longer with each subsequent treatment.

When the treatment is successful, patients often reduce the amount of oral medication needed and can increase their participation in physical therapy.

Novus Spine & Pain Center

Novus Spine & Pain Center is in Lakeland, Florida, and treats patients with chronic pain with numerous therapies, including stellate ganglion blocks. By using a comprehensive approach and cutting-edge therapies, we work together with patients to restore function and regain an active lifestyle, while minimizing the need for opiates.

For your convenience, you may schedule an appointment online, request a call back, or call our office at 863-583-4445.

Stellate Ganglion Block Resources

Stellate Ganglion Block (Cleveland Clinic)
Stellate Ganglion Blocks (Cedars Sinai)
What is a Stellate Ganglion Block? (WebMD)
Ultrasound-Guided Cervical Sympathetic Block (NYSORA)
Stellate ganglion block: effects (International Anesthesia Research Society)
Nerve Blocks (Johns Hopkins)
Hyperhidrosis (Mayo Clinic)
Effect of Stellate Ganglion Block Treatment on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms (American Medical Association)
Stellate Ganglion Block Treatment For PTSD At VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)
Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) (Ketamine Health Centers)
Using Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) to Treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (
Stellate Ganglion Block Image Gallery (Novus Spine & Pain Center)