Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops following a stressful event or situation of an exceptionally threatening or catastrophic nature, which is likely to cause pervasive distress in almost anyone.
The most characteristic symptom of PTSD is re-experiencing symptoms. PTSD sufferers involuntarily re-experience aspects of the traumatic event in a very vivid and distressing way.
Stellate ganglion block (SGB) is a well-established pain management procedure in wide use since 1920. The procedure is commonly used to treat pain associated with many conditions including chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) types I and II, vascular insufficiency/occlusive vascular disorders of the upper extremities, postherpetic neuralgia, phantom limb pain or amputation stump pain, sudden hearing loss and tinnitus, hyperhidrosis of the upper extremity, cardiac arrhythmias, ischemic cardiac pain, Bell’s palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, migraine headaches, Meniere’s syndrome and hot flushes.
Although SGB’s precise mechanism of action in PTSD remains elusive, a growing number of case reports and case series have been published on its use for treatment-refractory cases of PTSD. However there is lack of randomised controlled trials and further research is needed to know which patients would benefit from this treatment, how many injections are needed and whether bilateral injections should be performed?