Chronic pain can be debilitating and frustrating. It can keep you from doing the things you love and make everyday activities difficult. If you are living with chronic pain, you know that traditional treatments like medication and surgery often don’t help.
A pain management specialist will help you identify the cause of your chronic pain and suggest effective treatments.
Read more: What Is Pain Management and How Can Pain Management Doctors Help You?
One such treatment is ketamine infusions.
Ketamine infusions are a relatively new therapy used to effectively treat chronic pain conditions, including fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). This infusion involves introducing a small dose of ketamine, an anesthetic, directly into the bloodstream.
Ketamine is a powerful drug that has been shown to relieve chronic pain in many people. We will discuss how ketamine infusions work to relieve chronic pain and why they may be an option for you!
What Is Chronic Pain and What Are the Causes?
Chronic pain is defined as any persistent or recurring pain that lasts for at least six months. A wide range of things, such as injuries, medical conditions, and stress, can cause it. Chronic pain can affect the entire body or be localized to certain areas. Whatever the cause, chronic pain can be debilitating and significantly affect a person’s quality of life.
Some types of chronic pain include:
• Arthritis pain
• Neuropathic pain
• Back and neck pain
• Headaches and migraines
• Myofascial pain syndrome
What Is Ketamine?
Ketamine is an anesthetic medicine used in medical settings for more than 50 years to induce and maintain anesthesia. It is also known as a club drug or “special K” because of its hallucinogenic effects at high doses, but it has been approved by the FDA for use in clinical settings since 1970. Ketamine contains both analgesic and anesthetic components, making it an effective treatment for chronic pain.
How Do Ketamine Infusions Work?
Human brain chemistry is complicated and delicate, and finding a solution can be tricky when it comes to chronic pain. Ketamine infusions have been studied extensively as an effective treatment for chronic pain, allowing patients to regain control over their lives.
Ketamine disrupts the glutamate system of the nervous system, which helps modulate pain signals and emotions. It does this by blocking the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, a glutamate receptor in the brain. This blocks pain signals and reduces inflammation, leading to reduced discomfort.
Ketamine releases endorphins—the body’s natural painkillers—into the bloodstream. This helps to reduce feelings of pain further, creating a stronger sense of well-being and comfort.
Ketamine infusions are administered intravenously (IV) over several hours. During this time, a patient is closely monitored by medical staff for safety purposes and to ensure an effective treatment plan is in place.
The effects of ketamine infusions can be noticed within a few days to several weeks following the IV administration. Patients often report feeling an overall sense of calm and relaxation, improved mood, reduced pain levels, and better quality of life.
Ketamine is a medication used for anesthesia that can also be used as an effective treatment for chronic pain. For expert pain management in Indiana, contact APAC Centers for Pain Management. Our board-certified experts provide multi-disciplinary care, helping reduce pain and improve your quality of life.