The way the Military treats PTSD

PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder is a anxiety disorder associated with some type of stressor. The stressor can be anything from abuse to near murder situations. Obviously, the military deals with PTSD in its soldiers on a regular basis. I often work on military individuals and they have been using a old technique in a new way. They have been utilizing a procedure called a stellate ganglion block for the disorder. This is also known as a SGB for short. SGBs are used in pain management for unusal autonomic problems such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is a poorly understood disorder that causes severe burning pain usually in the extremities. The SGB blocks nerves that are called autonomic nerves which control the functions that we don’t usually think about such as anything from heart rate and digestion to sweating. In CRPS, it is thought that these nerves may be damaged or dysfunctional. The important issue here is that these are very primate nerves that come out of the brain but also probably have branches that and information into the brain as well. That is where the SGB for PTSD is supposed to work. This block temporary stops the information through these nerves and thus since they are primitative nerves they go to the deepest darkest regions of the primitive brain and by blocking them it is hoped that the primative regions that control anxiety will be blocked as well and relaxed. At this time, no long term studies have been done but from my experience, the military men feel some degree of improvement. The big issue is that in some of the patients the results are short lasting and have to be repeated. Nonetheless, this is a fascinating approach to people who otherwise have poor results with oral antidepressant medications. So if you suffer from PTSD consider asking your doctor about the SGB. Most will never have heard of it but you can tell them that the military uses it with decent results

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