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.