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How Ketamine Therapy May Be the Answer to Your Chronic Pain

The Benefits of Using Ketamine Therapy for Chronic Pain

With millions of Americans suffering from chronic pain, it is a blessing to know that there is an alternative to using narcotic pain medications. Opioids and other pain medications can be associated with addiction, along with a host of other negative side effects. Chronic pain can have debilitating effects on the mind and body which can be just as detrimental, if not more so, than the pain itself. Ketamine therapy can aid in treating not only physical, but mental problems as well. Today we will discuss how ketamine therapy can be beneficial in various aspects when it comes to finding relief for your chronic pain and how it can lead to effective results.

Ketamine Therapy Can Provide Relief When Other Options Have Failed

Finding relief for pain, especially chronic pain, can leave you feeling as if you have exhausted all of your options—however, know that there is hope. As a nurse working at Innerbloom Ketamine Therapy, I have personally seen a new patient who has been able to experience a significant decrease in her chronic pain. In fact, she had no pain at all after just her very first infusion! She has now been able to decrease her use of pain medications and has experienced immense improvements with her sleep. It has been so encouraging to witness this medicine work in ways where traditional pain medications have failed. Just know that if you have been seeking a was to ease your intense discomfort, ketamine therapy may be the answer. This medicine can help in achieving long-term pain relief, and reduce symptoms of depression, which may have a linked effect to your chronic pain. If you’re looking to become less dependent on opioids, and/or other methods that aren’t working for you, IV ketamine infusions offer a controlled, and often immediate relief of pain. We are not just treating the body, but we are treating where the pain is actually originating from— the brain. From Toni Bernhard’s book ‘How to Wake Up’ she says, “You can change your brain. This is not wishful thinking, it is science, and we know people can do it even in the most difficult times, when pain is at its most severe.” It’s important to understand that the brain can either work for us, or against us. Once we truly understand the power the mind has over our physiology, only then can we even begin our healing process.

Artistic graphic showing a woman underwater coming up for air with the words "ketamine for chronic pain"

It All Starts in the Brain: How Ketamine Works for Chronic Pain

Ketamine is a NMDA receptor antagonist, meaning it binds to this receptor and causes inactivation. The NMDA receptor is found throughout the peripheral tissue and nervous system and is closely associated with the sensation of pain.  When there is continuous activation of these NMDA receptors it can cause over-sensitization. By blocking receptor activation, ketamine can lead to a decrease in the continuous activation of these receptors which in turn can lead to relief of chronic pain. From Dr Neil Pearson, a specialist in pain management states, “The longer you have pain, the better your spinal cord gets at producing danger messages to the brain, even if there is no danger in the tissue.” Ketamine therapy can relax both the mind and body leading to positive results you may not have been able to fully experience with other treatment modalities. The ability for the mind to disconnect from the body, for even a limited amount of time, can help to rewire the mind-body connection and how pain is translated. In this article, the authors talks about how ketamine therapy can be effective for pain and provide “long-term analgesic effects up to 3 months following infusion.”

Ketamine Infusion Protocols for Chronic Pain

Research shows that longer infusions may be required for longer-lasting relief of chronic pain and syndromes such as fibromyalgia. These studies indicate that the effect of ketamine in longer duration protocols persist for at least 4 weeks versus shorter duration infusions which could have shorter pain alleviation lasting from days to weeks, indicating that re-treatment may be required within 4–6 weeks following the initial treatment period. Based on the research, our protocol includes a starting dose of 0.5mg/kg of body weight for 40-120 minutes for 6 infusions over a course of 2-6 weeks. The duration of a pain infusion is determined by the diagnosis and severity of pain. We may titrate or increase the dose depending on the patients' response and tolerance.

There Is Relief in Sight With Ketamine Therapy

Although the path to relief from chronic pain can seem daunting, just know that ketamine therapy may be the tool that you have been seeking. This innovative treatment has been shown to be safe and effective for patients experiencing various types of chronic pain associated with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), migraines, fibromyalgia, as well as neuropathic pain. Ultimately, ketamine therapy can help with pain and provide a significant improvement in mood and overall function.  As the mind and body are better able to relax and find relief, life can take on a new, bright, and blooming meaning.

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