The stellate ganglion is a collection of sympathetic nerves, which communicates with the face and upper extremities. Located in the neck area at the sixth or seventh vertebra, their purpose is to control homeostasis, not to effect movement or sense physical touch. Some conditions create dysfunction in the body by sending impulses through the stellate ganglion causing swelling, excessive sweating, pain, and impaired circulation in the upper extremities and the face.
The birth of sympathetic surgery dates from the end of nineteenth century. Initially, little was known about the physiology of the autonomic nervous system and so, surgical indications were imprecise and results, anecdotal. The first sympathectomy in History was described by Alexander 1 into treat an epileptic patient.
Peter D. The vascular response in the forehead to stimulating the eye with soapy water was investigated in 15 subjects shortly after pharmacological blockade of the stellate ganglion. Electrodermal activity was also recorded from each side of the forehead in nine subjects.
A stellate ganglion block is a injection of medication into a nerve bundle in the neck. It is used to diagnose and treat pain disorders of the upper extremities that are sustained by the sympathetic nervous system SNS. The stellate ganglion or cervicothoracic ganglion is a nerve bundle belonging to the sympathetic nervous system SNS that provides sensation to the upper body. The stellate ganglion has shown to have second and third order neurons that connect with central nervous system CNS nuclei that modulate body temperature, neuropathic pain, and other areas 1.
Back to Top. Your doctor can diagnose the cause of your pain by reviewing your medical history and conducting a physical examination. Your doctor may order imaging tests or nerve studies to help with the diagnostic process.
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The stellate ganglion is a network of nerves that is located in the front of the neck near the collarbonebetween the seventh cervical vertebra and first thoracic vertebra. In these cases, a stellate ganglion block sympathetic block may be used. A stellate ganglion block is a local anesthetic injection that is administered by a doctor at the site of the stellate ganglion.
A very small study found that an experimental nerve blocking therapy, called stellate nerve block, helped relieve hot flashes and sleep problems in 13 women having these side effects because of breast cancer treatment. The number of times they woke up at night dropped about the same amount, from about 20 times per week to less than 2 times per week. Hormonal therapy medicines are often used in breast cancer treatment to lower the risk of the cancer coming back.
Typically these nerves do not conduct pain signals. Sometimes, after a peripheral nerve is damaged by trauma, infection or other causes, the sympathetic nervous system can become recruited to now become a generator of pain signals. Associated symptoms with sympathetically-driven pain conditions include color changes, swelling of the affected body part, significant sensitivity to touch and pressure, and abnormal hair growth or sweating.