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The SGB Injection vs. Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can take a hold of almost every aspect of a person’s life, as they might struggle to cope with various debilitating symptoms, such as flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety.

​While it might feel as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel when living with the condition, there are a variety of superb treatment options available at our clinic to help a person overcome the disorder and take back control of their life. Find out how the stellate ganglion block (SGB) injection for PTSD that we are offering compares to prolonged exposure therapy when treating PTSD.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder will cause persistent emotional and mental distress, which is often due to a serious psychological shock or traumatic experience. For example, people who have endured an accident, physical or sexual assault, a form of abuse, or have been exposed to a traumatic event are more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD.

As a result, they might experience various debilitating symptoms, such as:

  • Vivid flashbacks and nightmares
  • Insomnia
  • Hypervigilance
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • A distrust in others
  • Over-reactivity
  • Anxiety

Physical sensations (such as trembling, nausea or sweating)

Many people might also isolate themselves from their loved ones, and could struggle with anger or numbness, which could cause their personal relationships to breakdown. If you want to make sure that you are doing everything possible to try and put a stop to this, make sure to get in touch with our dedicated team to discuss your PTSD and the treatments available.

What are the Benefits of Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD?

There are various forms of PTSD treatment exposure therapies available. Each therapy option has been designed to target learned behaviors that people will develop in response to their negative thoughts, painful trauma memories, suicidal thoughts, and difficult situations. For example, a victim of sexual abuse might avoid entering a relationship or going on a date due to fear of a similar traumatic event occurring in the future.

​While a person might view this avoidance as protecting themselves from harm’s way, it could potentially cause their PTSD symptoms to intensify and last much longer than necessary. However, by embracing new behaviors, a person could soon realize that the situation isn’t as dangerous or as threatening as they first thought.

​Exposure therapy can help a person to face their fears and tackle their anxiety, as they will need to eliminate avoidance behavior to improve their quality of life.

​One of the most effective methods is believed to be prolonged exposure therapy, which is a combination of:

  •  In vivo exposure (a direct confrontation of fears).
  • Imaginal exposure (confronting feared emotions and thoughts).
  • Interoceptive exposure (confronting physical symptoms commonly associated with anxiety, such as shortness of breath or an increased heart rate).

​Patients who embrace prolonged exposure therapy will commonly need to attend between eight to fifteen sessions with a therapist, which will last for 90 minutes each. 

​Each session will aim to increase a person’s education on their trauma, help them to control their breathing, practice sessions’ tactics in their normal life, and talk about their trauma with a therapist.

The Benefits of the Stellate Ganglion Block Injection for PTSD 

The stellate ganglion block injection might be one of the newest PTSD injection treatments available, but it is becoming a popular option for treating the symptoms of the condition. While it has been used since the 1920s to treat various forms of chronic pain and menopause, many researchers have discovered it could now help to combat post-traumatic stress disorder.

The injection will be inserted into the stellate ganglion within the neck, which is a collection of nerves in a person’s sympathetic nervous system. It ultimately controls the activation of the amygdala, which is the brain’s fear center. By administering a local anesthetic agent into the area, a patient could enjoy the fast-acting and long-lasting relief from their symptoms of PTSD. In fact, those who suffer from PTSD could experience the benefits of this low-risk PTSD breakthrough injection within thirty minutes and the effects could last for many months or years.

It works by placing a person’s sympathetic nervous system into a pre-trauma state, which can prevent additional nerve growth in the system that can reportedly cause unwanted PTSD symptoms. Our patients can rest assured that they will be in safe hands when receiving the innovative injection from our experienced team, as it will be administered under x-ray guidance and they will be able to return home the same day.

So, while prolonged exposure therapy has been designed to target a person’s behavior, the SGB injection will focus on the medical side of the disorder. However, the SGB shouldn’t be viewed as a cure for post traumatic stress disorder, as it is possible that symptoms could return one day in the future. Thankfully, a patient could receive an additional injection to combat their symptoms.

The injection is, therefore, best used in conjunction with other PTSD treatment options for optimal results, as this can increase the likelihood of a person successfully overcoming the condition and moving on with the rest of their lives. Get in touch with us today to discuss the best course of treatment for your individual situation. 

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