A.C.U.T. NOVEL NEW PROCEDURE

Stellate Ganglion Block Treatment for Long Covid Symptoms

What is a Stellate Ganglion?

The stellate ganglion is a collection of nerve cell bodies located in the neck region, at the base of the skull. It is part of the sympathetic nervous system and plays a role in regulating various functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, and constriction of blood vessels. It is also a target for certain medical procedures, including stellate ganglion block, which is used to treat conditions such as chronic pain and regional sympathetically maintained pain.

The injection can be used for the following: 

  • To manage pain in your neck, head, arm, or chest due to nerve injury, infection, or angina (reduced blood flow to heart muscles)
  • To reduce sweating in the head, face, arms, and hands 
  • To diagnose the cause of pain

The stellate ganglion is a group of nerve cells located in the neck that help regulate the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling the body’s fight or flight response. A stellate ganglion block is a type of treatment that involves injecting a local anesthetic into the stellate ganglion to block the sympathetic nervous system and help reduce certain symptoms, such as chronic pain and anxiety.

Recently, stellate ganglion blocks have been used as a treatment option for people experiencing long-term symptoms of COVID-19, also known as long COVID. Long COVID is a term used to describe the ongoing health problems that some people experience after recovering from COVID-19. These symptoms can include fatigue, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, and brain fog, among others.

One of the proposed mechanisms for how stellate ganglion blocks may help alleviate long COVID symptoms is by reducing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is thought to play a role in the development of some of these symptoms. By blocking the sympathetic nervous system, stellate ganglion blocks may help reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to affected areas, leading to a reduction in symptoms.

There is limited research on the use of stellate ganglion blocks for long COVID, but early studies have shown promise. In one small study, people who received stellate ganglion blocks reported significant improvements in their long COVID symptoms, including fatigue, brain fog, and anxiety.

It’s important to note that stellate ganglion blocks are not a cure for long COVID and more research is needed to fully understand their effectiveness in treating these symptoms. Additionally, stellate ganglion blocks are not without risks, including the potential for nerve damage and infection. It’s important to discuss the potential benefits and risks of this treatment with a healthcare provider before considering it as an option.

In conclusion, stellate ganglion blocks may be a useful treatment option for people experiencing long COVID symptoms, particularly those related to the sympathetic nervous system. However, more research is needed to understand the effectiveness and safety of this treatment fully. It’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before considering stellate ganglion blocks as a treatment option.