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What are injections to the head and neck?

Injections to the head and neck are performed as diagnostic and pain treatments. For example, the stellate ganglion block is an injection of numbing medicine to block the sympathetic nerves on either side of the voice box. This treatment is performed to reduce pain and swelling and may also improve mobility in the upper extremities. 

Why choose Dr. Seifert?

  • Dr. Heidi Seifert specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic pain, utilizing the latest evidence-based nonsurgical and minimally-invasive techniques. 
  • She is a compassionate, high tech doctor who performs state-of-the-art treatments to relieve pain and improve function. 
  • Dr. Seifert focuses on whole-body health and uses regenerative techniques to stimulate natural healing.

Am I a good candidate for head and neck injections in Houston and Bellaire, Texas?

You may be a good candidate for head an neck injections if you have problems in the upper extremities, such as pain, swelling, color, sweating changes, or impaired mobility. Stellate ganglion block injections may be recommended to diagnose the source of or treat pain in the head, neck, chest, or arms caused by:

  • Sympathetically maintained pain
  • Nerve injury
  • Shingles
  • Decreased blood flow to the heart

What can I expect with injections for the head and neck?

For the stellate ganglion procedure in Houston or Bellaire, Texas, you will be lying on your back with a pillow placed under your shoulder blades. Your neck will be cleaned with antiseptic, and then the doctor will inject the medication into your neck slowly, using a very small needle. Once the medication is injected, the needle is removed. You will remain in the recovery area for monitoring for approximately 40 to 60 minutes after the procedure. 

Is there any recovery after head and neck injections in Houston or Bellaire, Texas?

Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure, as you will not be able to drive for the remainder of the day. You will not be able to eat or drink anything for four hours until you regain your ability to swallow safely. After that, you may resume your regular diet and return to normal activities the day after treatment.

Who is not a good candidate for head and neck injections in Houston or Bellaire, Texas?

A stellate ganglion block cannot be performed on anyone who:

  • Has an active infection, cold, flu, or fever
  • Has very high blood pressure
  • Is taking blood thinners

Be sure to inform Dr. Seifert if any of these conditions apply to you. 

FAQ

How will I feel after the treatment?

You may have some tenderness in your neck, and one eye may be droopy, which could affect your balance. Your voice may be hoarse, and swallowing may be impaired for a few hours after the procedure. All of these symptoms are temporary and will subside when the anesthetic has worn off. For diagnostic purposes, it is essential to keep track of the amount of pain relief, as well as how long the pain relief lasts.

How many injections will I need?

A stellate ganglion block may be diagnostic, to determine the source of your pain, or therapeutic, to relieve your pain. If the procedure is effective in your case, the doctor may recommend a series of blocks, one to two weeks apart, to provide long-term pain relief.

What is the stellate ganglion, and where is it located?

The stellate ganglion is a collection of nerves located in front of the sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae, the last vertebrae of the neck. These nerves supply the face and arm. They are part of the sympathetic nervous system – the division of the nervous system that produces localized adjustments (such as sweating in response to increased temperature) and reflex adjustments of the cardiovascular system.
Seifert M.D.

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