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Stellate Ganglion Blocks

Diagnosing Arm Pain

When arm pain has no apparent cause, the problem could be the stellate ganglion nerves. These nerves originate in the neck and are part of the sympathetic nervous system, which controls involuntary movements such as pupil dilation, blushing, and sweating. These nerves are also the source of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome symptoms such as hypersensitivity and intense pain.

In addition to arm pain, dysfunction of the ganglion nerves may cause pain in the head, neck, or upper chest. A stellate ganglion block allows physicians to determine whether the ganglion nerves are causing pain.

About Stellate Ganglion Blocks

To determine which nerve or nerves are causing pain, a physician injects medicine into the neck to numb the ganglion nerves. If patients do not experience immediate pain relief, then ganglion nerves are not the source of the pain. Isolating the cause of nerve pain is the first step in developing an effective treatment plan.

Recovery Time After a Stellate Ganglion Block

Patients will need someone to drive them home from their appointment, as they will be drowsy. Side effects of this procedure include nasal congestion, hoarseness, red eyes, constricted pupils, and a drooping eyelid. These effects clear up in 4 to 8 hours, but patients should rest for a full day before resuming normal activities.

Find Out What’s Causing Your Pain

If you have chronic pain in one or both arms, your neck, head, or upper chest, the cause may be your ganglion nerves.

Contact American Pain Consortium to request a consultation for your pain.


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