Comprehensive Pain Management
(Formally known as Franklin Pain and Wellness and Warwick Pain)

Attleboro, MA(508) 236-8333
Franklin, MA(508) 507-8818
South Kingstown, RI (401) 234-9677
Warwick, RI(401) 352-0007

Franklin, MA • (508) 507-8818
Warwick, RI • (401) 352-0007
South Kingstown, RI • (401) 234-9677

Warwick Pain Center RI Blog

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Stellate Ganglion Block FAQs

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, October 25, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - Spinal Cord Stimulation in Franklin, MA

What is a stellate ganglion block?

A stellate ganglion block is an injection of local anesthetic in the sympathetic nerve tissue of the neck. These nerves are a part of the sympathetic nervous system. The nerves are located on either side of the voice box, in the neck.

What is the purpose of a stellate ganglion block?

A stellate ganglion block blocks the sympathetic nerves that go to the arms, and, to some degree, the sympathetic nerves that go to the face. This may in turn reduce pain, swelling, color and sweating changes in the upper extremity and may improve mobility. It is done as a part of the treatment of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), Sympathetic Maintained Pain, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Herpes Zoster (shingles) involving an arm or the head and face.

How long does the stellate ganglion block take?

The actual injection takes only a few minutes.

What is actually injected?

The injection consists of a local anesthetic. Epinephrine or steroid medication may be added to prolong the effects of the stellate ganglion block.

Will the stellate ganglion block hurt?

The stellate ganglion block involves inserting a needle through skin and deeper tissues. So, there is some pain involved. However, we may numb the skin and deeper tissues with a local anesthetic using a very thin needle before inserting the actual block needle. Most of the patients also receive intravenous sedation, which can make the procedure easier to tolerate.

Will I be "put out' for the stellate ganglion block?

Maybe. The stellate ganglion block can be done under local anesthesia only. However, most of the patients also receive enough intravenous sedation that they may fall asleep for a few minutes during the actual injection. Patients breathe on their own throughout the procedure. The amount of sedation given generally depends upon the patient tolerance, but can often be enough that the patient has amnesia for the actual injection.

Can I go to work to work the next day?

Unless there are complications, you should be able to return to work the next day. The most common thing you may feel is soreness in the neck at the injection site.

How long the effect of the medication last?

The local anesthetic wears off in a few hours. However, the blockade of sympathetic nerves may last for many more hours. Usually, the duration of relief gets longer after each injection.

How many stellate ganglion blocks do I need to have?

If you respond to the first injection, you will be recommended for repeat injections. Usually, a series of such injections is needed to treat the problem. Some may need only 2 to 4 and some may need more than 10. The response to such injections varies from patient to patient.

Will the stellate ganglion block help me?

It is sometimes difficult to predict if the injection will indeed help you or not. The patients who present early during their illness tend to respond better than those who have had symptoms for a very long time. Patients in advanced stages of disease may not respond adequately.

For more information, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.

Source: medcentral.org

Treating Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS)

Joseph Coupal - Friday, October 12, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI

Do you experience pain or numbness in your lower back when standing upright?

Is your discomfort relieved when you bend forward at the waist or sit down?

Do you experience pain, numbness, or tingling in your legs or buttocks when you walk?

About Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS)

What is LSS?

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a condition where the spinal canal narrows and compresses the spinal cord nerves in your lower back. As we age, the natural wear and tear on our spine can lead to a number of contributing factors that cause the narrowing of the spinal canal – thickening of ligament tissue, formation of excess bone, or compression/bulging of the discs.

What are the Symptoms of LSS?

The narrowing of the spinal canal can cause a number of symptoms such as pain, numbness or a tingling sensation in your buttocks, legs and lower back. It may also limit the amount of time/distance you are able to stand or walk. If your symptoms increase when you walk or stand, but you experience relief when you sit or bend forward, then you may have a certain type of LSS that can be treated by the removal of excess tissue that is causing the narrowing of the spinal canal.

LSS Treatment Considerations

There are many options available to treat LSS, and your doctor should help determine what is best for you. Some important things to consider with your physician are:

  • How effective is the treatment?
  • How long will the treatment provide relief from my pain/discomfort?
  • What are the risks of the treatment? What are the benefits?
  • Will I need to stay in the hospital? Will I have to undergo general anesthesia or surgery? How long is the recovery?

mild as a Treatment Option

If your doctor determines you have LSS caused by excess ligament, then the mild procedure may be a safe and effective treatment for you. mild is a quick outpatient procedure, performed through a tiny incision (about the size of a baby aspirin), requiring no general anesthesia or stitches. Study data show that 79% of patients experience a significant reduction in pain and significant increase in mobility. In addition, the mild procedure has been proven to have a very low risk of major complications.

For more information on mild, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.


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