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The SGB Injection for Firefighters with PTSD

Firefighters, like police and the military, risk their lives for their job. More than that, the heat, danger, and the pressure to save others can result in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mental health for those professions is vital, as is having strong support both at home and in the workplace. That being said, those who experience multiple traumas are more likely to develop PTSD.

According to a survey, the most traumatic parts of a firefighters job are not even fighting fires but dealing with other cases in which case search and rescue are necessary. Cases that involved a criminal element, victims who were dead upon arrival, motor vehicle accidents, and medical emergencies are reportedly the most traumatic.

With an estimated 7 to 37% of firefighters having PTSD, it is crucial for firefighters, the families of firefighters, and fire stations to know the complete list of options for dealing and managing with PTSD. Traditional and effective therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, should be combined with treatments that work to reduce the physical source of PTSD, like the SGB or Stellate Ganglion Block Treatment.

Trauma Experienced by Firefighters

Firefighters have an at-risk job, which means they are not just likely but almost guaranteed to experience multiple traumatic events throughout their line of duty. Not every firefighter develops PTSD, however, and those with these traits are most at risk:

  1. Those suffering from other mental health disorders
  2. Those who became a firefighter at a young age
  3. Those without family support at home
  4. Those close to a death on the job
  5. Those who feel fear or horror during a traumatic event
  6. Those who are experiencing other triggers like the loss of a loved one
  7. Those who have a negative opinion of themselves
  8. Those without control over their own life

Signs You Are Experiencing PTSD

​Signs of PTSD experienced by firefighters will include:

One of the results of PTSD is an overproduction of norepinephrine, a hormone similar to adrenaline. This hormone stimulates the growth in the sympathetic nervous system. This system is where the fight or flight reaction comes from, and the SGB works to reduce the growth of these extra nerves and helps reduce the production of norepinephrine in the body.

Top Therapies for PTSD

PTSD treatment should take a two-pronged approach. One, to relieve the physical symptoms of PTSD with SGB therapy, and two, traditional therapy like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy necessary to improve mental health.

What is the SGB Injection for PTSD?

SGB injection stands for Stellate Ganglion Block injection. It is a non-invasive procedure that works to reduce the overstimulation of the Stellate Ganglion. The Stellate Ganglion is a cluster of nerves which can be found in the neck, they work with the amygdala, or fear center, and are a part of the sympathetic nervous system.

The SGB treatment for PTSD works to reduce the overgrowth of nerves in this area and has been shown to minimize norepinephrine hormone. The stellate ganglion block works quickly, with patients seeing an improvement in as little as thirty minutes and, though not a cure, can last years.

The History of the SGB

The SGB was initially used as a treatment for chronic pain in the 1920s. It was first used to treat PTSD in 1945 at the end of WW2, but real evidence and research into its effectiveness have not begun until recently. As such, it is not yet offered under medical insurance approved methods, though the US military has invested $2 million into a three-year study of over 400 of its personnel to provide definitive results.

Want to know if the SGB is right for you?

Click here to fill out the PCL Questionnaire.

Studies That Support the SGB Procedure for PTSD

There have only been a few studies into SGB for PTSD, though none have yet been able to deny its effectiveness conclusively. The reason why these studies have remained inconclusive so far is that there was no blind party involved. The results could be skewered due to the placebo effect, where patients get better because they believe they are supposed to. ​That is why the research being conducted by the US Military is so crucial. It will be able to back up the 70 to 75% success rate, and can even look into more effective SGB treatment methods that have shown evidence of an 85 to 90% success rate.

Benefits of the SGB for Firefighters’ PTSD Disability

The SGB can work wonders for firefighters as part of the after-care treatment. Combined with a strong support system both at home and at work, and more traditional therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy, firefighters can better manage their PTSD and move on from their trauma after receiving this PTSD breakthrough injection.

The importance of such a support system cannot be stressed enough. The SGB is not effective in preventing future trauma from affecting the patient, though it can help. As firefighters have a very strenuous and stressful job, the risk of experiencing new trauma is high. However, with this PTSD injection, it can restore firefighters with PTSD years later to their original mental health state so that they can continue to provide their brave fire service for the community.

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Want to know if the SGB is right for you?

Click here to fill out the PCL Questionnaire.

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