Stellate Ganglion Blocks Specialist

The Rehab Doctors

Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation & Board Certified in Sports Medicine located in Rapid City, SD

If you have pain in your head, neck, arms, or chest, your physician might recommend a stellate ganglion block to help diagnose or treat the issue. The board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists at The Rehab Doctors provide stellate ganglion blocks in Rapid City, South Dakota. If you’re looking for expert, personalized physical medicine, call The Rehab Doctors, or schedule a consultation online today.

Stellate Ganglion Blocks Q & A

What is a stellate ganglion block?

Your stellate ganglion is a collection of sympathetic nerves located near the sixth and seventh cervical (neck) vertebra and your voice box. While the stellate ganglion isn’t responsible for feeling or movement, nerve damage can cause pain. 

A stellate ganglion block is a minimally invasive procedure. It involves an injection of a local anesthetic to relieve pain in your head, neck, arms, and chest. 

Why would I need a stellate ganglion block?

The Rehab Doctors’ team uses stellate ganglion blocks to diagnose and treat nerve injuries and circulation problems, such as:

  • Causalgia
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
  • Phantom limb pain

Stellate ganglion blocks also relieve pain related to shingles (herpes zoster infections). The team also uses stellate ganglion blocks to reduce excess sweating. 

What happens during a stellate ganglion block?

The Rehab Doctors’ team begins with a thorough exam to determine if a stellate ganglion block is necessary to diagnose or treat a condition. 

If the procedure is right for you, your physician prepares you for the injection by providing a sedative to keep you comfortable and relaxed. You recline on a treatment table, and your doctor cleans your neck. 

Then, using X-ray guidance, your physician numbs your neck with a local anesthetic. When you’re thoroughly numb and relaxed, they insert another needle to inject anesthetic medication into the stellate ganglion. 

A stellate ganglion block takes approximately 30 minutes. A friend or family member can drive you home when the anesthesia wears off. 

What should I expect after a stellate ganglion block?

Patients respond differently to stellate ganglion blocks — some report immediate pain relief, while others might need a few days to feel the full effects. Additionally, some patients need a series of injections to achieve permanent pain relief. Your pain-relief should last longer with each treatment. 

Stellate ganglion blocks are very safe. You shouldn’t experience any numbness after the initial local anesthetic wears off. Some patients might have a hoarse voice, a warm face, or red eyes for a couple of hours after the injection. 

Call The Rehab Doctors, or make an appointment online today, if you have pain in your head, neck, chest, or arms and find out if a stellate ganglion block is right for you.