Ketamine For Chronic Pain Treatment in Lawrenceville, GA
Millions of people experience pain on a daily basis. Pain is usually your body warning you that something is wrong, either in the form of illness or injury. When the injury has healed, the pain tends to go away. Unfortunately, some people develop a form of pain that continues for months at a time. If you experience pain that lasts for three to six months (more), you are experiencing chronic pain. Chronic pain quickly takes its toll on your physical and mental health.
Around 25% of people suffering from chronic pain also have a condition called chronic pain syndrome (CPS). This is characterized by the addition of symptoms beyond just pain, such as depression, and anxiety. CPS can be difficult to find treatment for, but relief from symptoms is still possible with the right treatments. Physical therapy, counseling, medications, or IV Ketamine infusion can help relieve symptoms of chronic pain and the depression it sometimes brings.
What are the symptoms of chronic pain?
Chronic pain can affect your emotional wellbeing, temperament and mood, and even your personal relationships over time. Oftentimes, you will develop other symptoms in addition to the pain. Symptoms may include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Feelings of guilt
- Loss of interest in hobbies or sex
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Marital or familial conflict
- Suicidal ideation
Unfortunately, some people suffering from chronic pain grow dependent on their pain medication and will need to take more and more each time to feel relief.
What causes chronic pain?
The medical community is still unsure about the exact causes of chronic pain or CRPS, but research indicates it can be triggered by an injury or conditions such as the following:
- Arthritis/joint problems
- Back pain
- Muscle strains/sprains
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Lyme disease
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones
- Acid Reflux
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
What treatment options are available for chronic pain?
There are quite a few options out there for treatment of your chronic pain. There are traditional oral medications and topical therapies. Oral medications might include anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Topical medications like ointments or creams are applied to the skin, usually directly on top of the area affected by pain. Some of these medications can be bought over the counter (OTC), but others may require you to get a prescription from a healthcare professional.
There are also many helpful things you can do to relieve chronic pain without taking medication. Exercise, especially with the direction of a physical therapist, can greatly reduce chronic pain. Acupuncture and Transcutaneous Electro-Nerve Stimulator (TENS) units can stimulate the area affected by chronic pain and may be helpful in reducing pain symptoms.
An innovative new Ketamine Infusion for chronic pain management is helping people find relief comes in the form of injections. Some of these may be injected into the spinal region of the body, and may help chronic pain. IV Ketamine Infusions are also an exciting new treatment option for those suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).
What medications are used for chronic pain treatment?
Medications useful for treating chronic pain come in a variety of forms and categories. You should consult with your doctor or healthcare professional regarding any questions you have. These medications often bring with them unwanted side effects.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) Many of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can be obtained over-the-counter, such as ibuprofen. They can be very useful when it comes to treating acute muscular and bone pain. However, if they are taken for an extended time or in particularly large quantities, they bring a risk of blood clots, or negative effects on the kidneys and gastrointestinal system, as well as bleeding ulcers. Research indicates that long-term use of cyclooxygenase II (COX II) inhibitors may be linked to an increase in cardiovascular risks. Acetaminophen is another useful drug that can be taken over-the-counter, but taking more than 4000 mg in 24 hours brings a risk of severe liver failure. This should be noted because many other over-the-counter medications also have acetaminophen as an ingredient, so if acetaminophen is taken with prescribed medication, there is a risk of acetaminophen overdose.
- Antidepressants Specifically tricyclic antidepressants can be very useful in managing the symptoms of chronic pain. The parts of these medications that relieve depression effectively mean that they can relieve pain symptoms in doses lower than the doses used to treat depression. These medications must be taken every day, regardless of whether you have pain, rather than on an as-needed basis. Your healthcare professional may recommend you take these medications at night to avoid some of the unpleasant side effects, such as sedation or dry mouths. It is vital that you only take the prescribed amount of these medications.
- Anticonvulsants Also known as anti-seizure medications, anticonvulsants can be useful when treating certain types of nerve pain. Like antidepressants, these medications must be taken every day. They may bring side effects like weight gain or drowsiness, but these tend to improve the longer you stay on the medication. Anticonvulsants are typically recommended not to be prescribed to people with kidney stones or glaucoma, so consult with your physician about all your previous ailments.
- Muscle Relaxers Muscle relaxers are typically used to treat muscle spasms but can be used to treat chronic pain as well. They can bring on the side effect of drowsiness.
- Opioids must be used appropriately. For certain types of chronic pain, however, they can be very effective. Nerve type of pain typically is not helped by opioids, but the pain that is present all day may be treated best with an opioid. Side effects can include constipation, nausea, or drowsiness. Always consult with your healthcare provider to make sure the opioid you are on is best for your treatment.
Ketamine for Chronic Pain Treatment
Ketamine was first developed and approved by the FDA as an anesthetic, but it has been used as a painkiller for decades. While you may know it as the club drug often abused as Special K, Ketamine is what some doctors are calling the biggest breakthrough in depression and pain treatment in decades. When infused at a low dose into the bloodstream, research indicates that Ketamine may be up to 80% effective at treating the symptoms of pain and depression.
One benefit to Ketamine Infusion for chronic pain treatment is its ability to sometimes bring relief to symptoms within minutes or hours, rather than the weeks or months medication or physical therapy can take.
Research into Ketamine infusions for treating pain is still ongoing, but it is generally believed that Ketamine helps to foster connections between synapses and restore damaged nerve connections, essentially “rewiring” the brain. Ketamine infusions may be particularly effective at not only treating the pain symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndrome, but also the additional depression and anxiety symptoms.
The recent FDA approval of Spravato (a Ketamine-based nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression), as well as the development of new psychedelics research centers by John Hopkins, may indicate a shift in the chronic pain treatment industry, providing innovative new options like Ketamine infusion to those who experience persistent and treatment-resistant chronic pain. Is Ketamine for Chronic Pain right for you? Contact us today and schedule your consultation.