What are Ganglion Blocks?

Sympathetic ganglion block injections, or “ganglion blocks” for short, are used to alleviate pain, typically in conditions where sympathetic nerves play a role in generating or maintaining it. These injections target the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling various involuntary functions in the body, such as blood flow, and perspiration, and is also involved in pain transmission. By blocking the specific ganglion responsible for your pain symptoms, pain can be relieved for both acute and chronic conditions.

At the Greater Austin Pain Center, we provide Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks to target the 3 main sympathetic ganglia, which include:

  • The Stellate Ganglia: The Stellate Ganglia are pairs of massed nerve fibers found near the upper cervical spine and the thoracic spine, which can be blocked to relieve symptoms associated with arm pain.
  • The Impar Ganglion: The Impar Ganglion is a single mass of nerve fibers found near the bottom of the sacrum (tailbone), which can be blocked to relieve pain in the pelvis or tailbone.
  • The Lumbar Ganglia: Finally, the Lumbar ganglia refers to the pairs of massed nerve fibers found near the lower spine, which can be blocked to relieve symptoms associated with leg pain.

By numbing these ganglia with anesthetic or corticosteroid injections, the pain signals that travel through them can be blocked, and in turn, relieve the chronic pain in these areas.

How Does It Work

Regardless of whether you’re getting a Stellate, Impar or Lumbar procedure, Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks work by using a local anesthetic to block the activity of the sympathetic nerves that are causing pain. The injection contains a combination of a local anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory medication, and is typically performed over the course of the following steps:

  1. First, the skin over the injection area is cleaned and sterilized.
  2. A local anesthetic is then used to numb the skin and deeper tissues near the injection area.
  3. A needle is guided using fluoroscopy or ultrasound to reach the target sympathetic ganglia.
  4. The anesthetic or medication is then injected around the ganglia.

The entire procedure typically takes only a few minutes, and the patient is observed briefly for any immediate reactions. 

What Does It Treat?

Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks involve injecting a local anesthetic medication near the sympathetic ganglia, which are bundles of nerve cells located along the spinal cord. By blocking the transmission of pain signals through these bundles of nerves, this procedure can provide relief for a variety of conditions, including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Phantom Limb Pain, persistent nerve pain from shingles, peripheral neuropathy and more.

What To Expect

During a Sympathetic Ganglion Block procedure, a local anesthetic and/or corticosteroids are injected into the sympathetic ganglia of the spine to reduce pain signals reaching the brain. Patients should expect a brief period of discomfort during the procedure, and can usually return to normal activities the same day, although individual cases may vary. 

Contact our specialists today to learn more about Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks in Austin.

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Steps in the Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks (Stellate, Impar, Lumbar) Process


Schedule an Appointment

Schedule an appointment with one of our Sympathetic Ganglion Block doctors in Austin to see if you’re a good candidate for this procedure.


Initial Evaluation

During your initial evaluation, our pain specialists will assess your pain symptoms and medical history to determine if you're a good candidate.



If you’re a good candidate, set up a time for your procedure, during which we’ll perform the steps listed above.



Following the procedure, we’ll take careful steps to assess your condition to ensure a success and pain-free outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the procedure take?

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Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks typically only take about 10 minutes to complete.

How long does the relief last?

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The effect of the block, including the duration and amount of relief may vary from person to person.

Are Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks considered safe?

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Yes. These injections are safe and have a very low chance of any adverse reactions.

Are there side effects of Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks?

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Side effects are rare with these injections but can include infection, bleeding, and temporary numbness of the skin around the injection site.

Are Ganglion Blocks covered by insurance?

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Yes. Most insurances cover nerve blocks, including Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks, however, a prior authorization may need to be obtained in advance.


"Dr. Jarzembeck is AMAZING. I HIGHLY recommend her for anyone suffering in pain. She goes above and beyond to make sure her patients pain has been dealt with."

Genia G.

"Everyone is so friendly and helpful, Dr. Bednar came to me and explained the procedure and answered my questions. Highly recommend!"

Maggie G.

"Dr. Julia is the best! The staff is professional and friendly to all. Best of all, Dr. Julia is finding solutions for my chronic pain! Never thought that it would be possible. It's a journey for me, but it seems like there is a solution."

Nancy M.

Lunch & Learn With Our Doctors

Curious about Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation? Join our doctors for an in-person lunch and learn session to find out more about these treatments and ask any questions you may have. This event will be 12–1pm, sign up below to receive more details and RSVP.

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Treat Your Chronic Nerve Pain with Our Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks in Austin

Considering a Sympathetic Ganglion Block to help alleviate your chronic pain or discomfort? Look no further than the Greater Austin Pain Center. Our nerve pain specialists have decades of experience in applying ganglion blocks to reduce pain, and in some cases, eliminate it. 

Contact our Impar, Lumbar, and Stellate Ganglion Block doctors in Austin, Texas today and schedule a consultation in one of our conveniently located Central Texas pain clinics in Austin, Kyle, San Marcos, and Dripping Springs.

Schedule an Appointment

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