Maverick Medical Education teaches several blocks to help students provide the best pain relief options in their medical practices. Each of our courses is uniquely designed, both in topics and in format, to help students learn, train, and apply these methods upon course completion. The stellate ganglion block is one of the numerous blocks we teach.
What is it?
The stellate ganglion is located in the neck, in front of the vertebrae, on either side of the voice box. This collection of nerves is integrated into the sympathetic nervous system that supplies the face and arms. They do not transmit messages of feeling or assist with movement. A block is administered with fluoroscopic or ultrasound-assisted guidance as an anesthetic is injected into the space surrounding the stellate ganglion. Pain relief should happen soon and can last a few hours or more without too much numbness. Both chronic and acute pain conditions can be treated by this block, depending on the pain treatment plan a medical provider and their patient decide on.
The stellate ganglion can be used for several different treatments. Pain in the head, neck, chest, or arm can be relieved with this block, in addition to pain associated with shingles. Patients with increased sweating can also find relief with this block. In addition, according to Cleveland Clinic, the “stellate ganglion block is used to diagnose or treat circulation problems or nerve injuries.” Circulation and blood supply issues within the space the stellate ganglion helps regulate, such as the shoulders and arms, can also be assisted with this block. Some stomach conditions may be treated with a stellate ganglion block, with clinical trials and experiments continuing. There is also mounting evidence that this block can help the brain reset in certain ways, which could have several applications for patients with various conditions.
How it treats COVID Parosmia
Parosmia is a condition where odors can be distorted long-term due to a condition or illness. COVID can cause this condition in patients for months after the initial illness occurs. This distorted sense of smell can impact people’s quality of life and desire to eat certain foods, adversely impacting their overall weight and nutrition. There is some evidence that a stellate ganglion block can assist in relieving COVID parosmia by resetting the sympathetic nervous system. With this reset, the brain can correctly identify smells and odors instead of associating pleasant aromas with unsavory ones.
To learn more about the stellate ganglion block, consider enrolling in the Chronic Pain Series with Maverick Medical Education. This block and a number of others are taught in both online learning modules and hands-on laboratory practice so students can understand the reasoning and science behind these blocks while getting the repetitive training needed for proficiency. To learn more about this course or others, contact our Maverick Medical Education team, today.