New PTSD Treatment: A Shot in the Neck

Post traumatic stress disorder can develop following any type of trauma. Perhaps it is from your job, or following an accident, or even in the aftermath of abuse. PTSD does not discriminate, and though war veterans are the most likely to develop crippling PTSD, anyone can experience it. PTSD is, in fact, so common that almost 7% of the population will experience it at some point in their lives.

Thankfully, PTSD is a fully recognized disorder, and new research and developments are helping to treat it more effectively. One such breakthrough was the discovery that PTSD causes an overproduction of the hormone known as norepinephrine, which is similar to adrenaline, except that it causes your sympathetic nervous system to grow. What is the sympathetic nervous system? That is our fight or flight response.

What is the New Shot for PTSD?

The PTSD shot in the neck here refers to the Stellate Ganglion Block. Stellate Ganglion are a bundle of nerves in the neck that are a part of our sympathetic nervous system. They are what connects our nerves to our fear center. Overstimulated, they can leave us constantly feeling on edge, anxious, irritable and drawn out.

What is the Stellate Ganglion Block?

The SGB shot for PTSD works by stopping and reducing the growth of nerves in this area, and even minimizes the norepinephrine hormone that causes the growth in the first place.

How Does the SGB Work?

The procedure is quick, non-invasive, and long-lasting. Patients have reported feeling immediate effects minutes after the procedure, though it can take longer to come into effect. The best part about the SGB injection, especially compared to the other therapies available, is that it can last for years.

How Was the SGB Developed?

SGB has been around for almost 100 years, though initially it was created with the intention to reduce chronic pain, rather than chronic anxiety. The first time it was used to treat PTSD was back in 1945, following the end of the second world war.

How Effective is the SGB for PTSD?

As with any treatment, there is the danger of the placebo effect. In short, patients could become better simply because they believe they are supposed to be. That is why, in recent years, the US military has invested $2 million into an independent study that will cover the recovery of 400 military personnel. This study will provide definite results on the effectiveness of SGB once and for all.

That is because, to date, studies that have brushed upon SGB have yet to confirm nor deny its effectiveness. The reason for this inconclusive result is that there has yet to be a double-blind study conducted. Anecdotally, the treatment has a 70% to 75% success rate, with more modern versions seeing success rates of 85% to 95%.

The Benefits of the SGB

SGB can help reduce the physical symptoms of PTSD and will work well when combined with other therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and support groups. SGB therapy potential is huge for those suffering from PTSD, and with its help, patients can expect to recover more quickly and more effectively.

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