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The SGB Injection vs. EMDR Therapy for PTSD 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that is caused by exposure to stress, fear, or distress. Often seen in military personnel who have experienced the horrors of war, people living with PTSD often relive their traumas via flashbacks and nightmares. Mood swings, feelings of extreme isolation, and even guilt all play a part in PTSD, and it has proven a complex anxiety disorder to treat. Car accident victims, physical assaults of any kind, revelations of health issues, and even experiences like giving birth can all be the root cause of PTSD. In some patients, PTSD is developed immediately after the traumatic event, while others will only develop symptoms weeks or sometimes years later.

EMDR Treatment for PTSD

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for PTSD has been used in the treatment of the disorder since it was developed by Francine Shapiro in 1987. The psychologist created the method to tackle the root causes of anxiety and panic attacks specifically. As these are common symptoms of PTSD, it makes sense that EMDR has proven to be an effective treatment option for those suffering from PTSD.

EMDR is an integrated psychotherapy approach that is proven to be useful in the treatment of trauma. It uses a phased approach to trauma treatment where patients are reconnected to their experience in a safe environment.

In the Rapid Eye Movement phase, patients undergo a form of therapy where the disruptive and traumatizing memory is focused on and identified in terms of negativity/positivity. Reviewing the memory while focusing on external stimuli causes a new set of bilateral eye movements. EMDR works by choosing to replace negative memories with positive reactions in the same way that cognitive behavior therapy works.

Side Effects of EMDR

EMDR is considered by medical professionals as a safe treatment with few adverse reactions, and it has also been shown to be an effective treatment option with long-term positive effects. However, it does come with some side effects that can slow down recovery time. These include:

  • ​Heightened emotions through the treatment
  • Opening up more distressing memories
  • Lightheadedness
  •   Exposure to traumatic memories can bring new issues with it
  • Vivid dreams

However, these side effects are often only temporary, and patients are always advised to let their doctor know if these side effects are happening.

Treating PTSD with Stellate Ganglion Blocks

One of the most exciting leaps forward in the treatment of PTSD, the stellate ganglion block injection for PTSD is proving to be very effective without the side effects caused by other forms of treatment. This PTSD injection treatment requires a local anesthetic numbing agent to be injected directly into the Stellate Ganglion that is located in the larynx. That ganglion is a cluster of nerves that manage the ‘fight or flight’ response, which is one of the bodily systems most noticeably affected by PTSD.When the stellate ganglion is numbed, it has the effect of simply ‘turning off’ the symptoms of PTSD.

While treatments like EMDR can take time and patience to start having an effect, the SGB injection for PTSD has an immediate effect. While the anesthetic itself will generally wear off after a few hours, research has shown that this can continue to have the same physical effect for anywhere between a few months to several years. This means that with minimal trips to the doctor, those who have PTSD can alleviate the symptoms and regain their quality of life.

PTSD and SGB

This revolutionary PTSD breakthrough injection is being used more and more by the military for treatment. Although it is not a new type of medical treatment (nerve blocks have been in use for a century), it is only in recent years that the effectiveness of SGB has been studied. The results show that it outperforms any of the medication or therapy solutions currently available, with the only side effect being the temporary development of Horner Syndrome (a drooping eye). 

This side-effect usually lasts less than thirty minutes, but in some patients can go on for a few hours. However, this short-term consequence is very insignificant when compared to the side effects of other PTSD treatments. When the procedure can take just thirty minutes and results in a much greater ability to deal with the world around you, people living with PTSD are regaining their quality of life no matter the traumatic event that they experienced.

PTSD treatments vary wildly in terms of their effectiveness. The majority of treatment methods, especially those involving medication, are prone to a high number of risks. People with PTSD are especially vulnerable to addiction, so while drugs like ketamine have proven to be effective for managing PTSD, the potential for addiction is far too high for it to be a long-term form of treatment. EMDR is a slower treatment option that comes with the stress of reopening old wounds and re-experiencing traumatic events. In comparison, SGB is a simple procedure that is allowing those with PTSD to regain control over their lives, with less exposure to the risk of dire side effects. 

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