Chronic Pain & Neuropathic Pain Syndromes:
Please note- ongoing studies are being done by researchers for the efficacy of Ketamine and Chronic Pain Syndromes.
What is Chronic Pain?
According to the National Institute for Health, Chronic pain is a chronic disease and affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. It has been cited as the most common reason why Americans access the healthcare system and it is a leading cause of disability along with being a major contributor to health care costs.
Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting longer than 12 weeks. Pain signals from the brain (nervous system) can continue to fire for weeks, months and even years after the initial injury or after a condition has been diagnosed. While the injury or condition may be healed, treated and or managed- the body can still interpret pain from the central nervous system.
How Does Ketamine work for Chronic Pain and Neuropathic Pain?
Traditional therapy & medications, such as narcotic pain medications, are used to dull the signals for pain. Studies have shown that Ketamine “reboots” the central nervous system, increasing the neural transmitters and healing the damaged areas caused by the pain syndromes over the years- this approach does not dull signals like traditional therapies, but gets to the root of the issues at hand.
Ketamine specifically provides pain relief primarily through the NMDA receptor at the level of the spinal cord and the brain. This plays a role in nociceptive transmission (Most pain is Nociceptive pain- it results from stimulation of these pain receptors for tissue injury to occur. The injury can range from a cut, bruise, a fracture, crush injury, burns, post-surgical pain or anything that damages tissues) and central sensitization (central sensitization occurs when the nervous system goes through a process called wind-up and gets regulated in a constant state of high reactivity).
Neuropathic Pain Syndromes:
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
This syndrome usually develops in an extremity (foot, leg, hand and or arm). It is usually the result of a trauma such as broken bones and can result because of nerve damage. Sometimes this syndrome occurs for unknown reasons. CRPS can also spread to other parts of the body-it is not well understood why this occurs, but can happen, and causes even more dysfunction, and pain for the individual. The outcome of this syndrome leaves people in extreme discomfort and pain and usually worsens over time. Typical symptoms are burning, stinging and stabbing pains along with sensitivity to touch in the area with obvious temperature changes in the affected extremity. There can also be skin changes and color differences along with swelling, weakness and decreased function and mobility.
Low-Dose Ketamine Infusions offer promising results for CRPS and can be a viable alternative to most conventional treatments for CRPS patients. Ketamine works by resetting the central nervous system’s sensitization to pain- which provides safe and effective relief. Unlike opiates and large doses of narcotics- which make patients MORE sensitive to pain over time and can have unwanted side effects.
This chronic pain disorder affects the muscles and tissues in the body- causing widespread symptoms of aching and stiffness along with fatigue. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies the painful sensations by the way the brain processes painful stimulus. The pain can range anywhere from moderate to severe and this condition, while treated successfully with some medications, is still not fully understood by the medical community.
Low- Dose Ketamine Infusions have been proven effective and safe to reduce chronic pain in Fibromyalgia patients. Relief is usually progressive and this treatment can allow patients to regain function and the ability to participate in more activities.
Please refer to our FAQ Page for more information on Ketamine Infusions HERE.