The Fayetteville Observer published an article on a treatment initially used to treat pain, that is now being used to treat post-traumatic stress. Watch the video:
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By Drew Brooks Military editor
It’s not a cure-all or a magic bullet, but a century-old medical treatment finding new use among those fighting post-traumatic stress has given new hope to providers and patients on Fort Bragg.
Officials at Womack Army Medical Center are on the front lines of treating combat-related post-traumatic stress with a procedure known as a stellate ganglion block.
The hospital will soon host a clinical trial that officials said could lead to more mainstream use of the procedure.
Traditionally used to treat pain, a stellate ganglion block takes about 30 minutes and involves the injection of a local anesthetic into nerves in a patient’s neck.
Short term side effects include numbness, congestion or hoarseness. In the long term, a stellate ganglion block has been found to positively impact some of the symptoms most associated with post-traumatic stress.
Maj. Michael W. Bartoszek, chief of Womack Army Medical Center’s Pain Clinic, said the treatment has been found to reduce anxiety, halt nightmares and stop the hyper-vigilance associated with many post-traumatic stress sufferers.
The effects can last for several months, he said.
“Before the needle is even out, they feel better,” Bartoszek said.