The SGB: A PTSD Treatment for Veterans
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop after a person endures a traumatic event, such as military warfare, a natural disaster, an assault, or the sudden loss of a loved one.
Unfortunately, it is a common mental health disorder for veterans. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, approximately 20 veterans will commit suicide each day, which equates to between 6,000 men and women per year.
Tragically, many of the people who take their lives are often struggling with PTSD, which can consume many aspects of their emotional and physical health.
It is, therefore, imperative for veterans to seek immediate PTSD injection treatment and get in contact with our dedicated team to overcome the disorder. There is a new PTSD treatment option that we are offering that could help people with PTSD to effectively overcome the condition. Learn more about the SGB injection for veterans with PTSD.
How PTSD Affects Veterans
According to a PTSD study published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, people living with PTSD and depression are at a higher risk of experiencing suicidal ideation and to act on their suicidal thoughts.
Veterans are also reportedly less likely to request help from a physician for PTSD and depression. It is, therefore, imperative for both the military and medical organizations to take the necessary steps to prevent PTSD and provide patients with the most effective treatment options available.
The SGB can Help Veterans with PTSD
One of the newest treatments to potentially combat PTSD in veterans is the stellate ganglion block injection. This PTSD breakthrough injection, which was first introduced in 1925 to treat chronic pain and the menopause, and is now being used to combat post-traumatic stress disorder, which is available at our clinic.
The anesthetic medicine is injected into the stellate ganglion, which is a cluster of nerves in the neck and forms a part of a person’s sympathetic nervous system that controls their fight or flight response. Its purpose is to reduce the levels of norepinephrine within the body, which are responsible for activating the amygdala that can trigger fear in the brain. The SGB injection for PTSD can consequently decrease various PTSD symptoms, which can help veterans to restore their mental and physical health.
How to Administer the SGB Injection for PTSD
One of our dedicated doctors will first numb a patient’s neck and then use an ultrasound or x-ray to guide the injection needle towards the stellate ganglion, which is located on each side of their voice box. They will then inject an anesthetic in an attempt to temporarily block the nerves and decrease the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Many military doctors are now supporting the use of SGB for veterans suffering from PTSD, as they believe it can have a positive effect on veterans’ mental health and could help them to re-adjust to military life after combat.
The Impact of Norepinephrine on the Brain
Various research studies have found that an increase of norepinephrine is a leading cause of PTSD. As a severe trauma, such as military combat, can stimulate norepinephrine in the body, it can trigger hyperarousal and distressing traumatic memories from a traumatic event.
Nerve growth and sprouting can ultimately trigger the fear center of the brain, which is known as the amygdala. As a result, a veteran will have an increased vulnerability to both PTSD and suicide following a traumatic experience, with symptoms developing within as little as one month of an event.
Veteran PTSD Statistics
It is believed between 7 to 8 Americans will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder at some point in their lives. It has also been reported that military personnel have experienced PTSD rates of between 11-15% since the Vietnam War, Gulf War and Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. PTSD rates have also been estimated to reach as high as 35% should the current operational tempo from the last decade continue.
The Challenges of Evidence-Based Treatments
It is hardly surprising more physicians are embracing the stellate ganglion block injection, as evidence-based PTSD therapies can come with a variety of challenges. It has been reported that current evidence-based treatments have a 30-40% success rate for patients.
Many physicians also disagree about the use of pharmacotherapy when treating post-traumatic stress disorder. For example, both Veteran Affairs and the Department of Defense support the use of medications under clinical practice guidelines, while the Institute of Medications has downplayed the use of medications in PTSD treatment.
Due to the limitations of talk therapy, exposure therapy, different types of psychotherapies, and the risk of suicidal acts among veterans, it is unsurprising that many people are choosing to explore alternative therapies for PTSD.
As the SGB injection could provide instant relief for PTSD symptoms, it could be the solution many veterans have been looking for when struggling with the mental health disorder. While it is by no means a cure for the mental health issue, it could help people to enjoy long-term release from the debilitating symptoms and could support current PTSD therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and group therapy.
Feel free to contact our helpful team today should you have any questions regarding PTSD and the stellate ganglion block injection.
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