Aches and pains in the arms and hands don’t always originate in those areas. In some cases, this type of pain could be due to irritation or impingement of a ganglion nerve in the neck.
The stellate ganglion nerves are part of your sympathetic nervous system, which controls bodily functions such as sweating, blushing, and the “fight or flight” response. When these nerves become irritated, they may cause headaches, neck pain, arm and hand pain, or chest pain. A stellate ganglion block (SGB) procedure helps physicians confirm or rule out stellate ganglion nerves as the source of pain, and it can calm overactive nerves that cause the physical symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
To figure out if the stellate nerve ganglion nerves are causing painful symptoms, we can inject a numbing medication into the neck to bathe the nerves in an analgesic medication (we apply a local anesthetic first to minimize discomfort during the procedure). If the pain goes away, then the stellate ganglion nerves are the source of pain. Patients receiving SGB for PTSD may need one or more injections to get the best results.
We advise all our patients undergoing nerve blocks to arrange a ride home from their appointment. This is to ensure safety for everyone on the road, since some mild symptoms like drowsiness, soreness, and numbness may linger for a few hours. Some patients may also experience a drooping eyelid, and flu-like symptoms (hoarseness, nasal congestion, and red eyes), but those symptoms usually last no longer than eight hours.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of stellate ganglion nerve irritation, or you need help managing PTSD, please contact us. Complete the form below, or call today to schedule your consultation: (614) 383-6450.