KETAMINE FOR CHRONIC AND NEUROPATHIC PAIN IN ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND
Does ketamine for chronic back pain work? Does it work for neuropathy pain? Yes, ketamine infusion for pain works very well, and with few, if any, side effects.
For decades, opioid meds were the gold standard for chronic pain management. Doctors prescribed medications such as OxyContin tablets, and the Duragesic fentanyl patch to treat everything from low back pain to cancer pain.
In the early 2000s, doctors started to prescribe opioids for chronic non-cancer pain more often. Pharmaceutical companies, such as Purdue Pharma, drove opioid sales with intense marketing and infiltration of the medical education system.
Yet, during that entire period, doctors were already administering ketamine by IV infusion with minimal risk. While opioids carry a high risk of addiction and overdose, ketamine is safe, and it provides lasting relief with a short-term treatment protocol.
Why does ketamine infusion therapy for pain relief, including neuropathic pain, seem like such a well-kept secret? How is it possible that this IV therapy is so effective and safe compared to opioid pain medicine, but so few doctors offer it in their clinics or recommend it?
Intravenous ketamine is a medical therapy that has stood the test of time. However, when a medical treatment has been available on the market for many decades, and it becomes generic, pharmaceutical companies have no incentive to promote it.
Alternatively, big pharma prefers to host multimillion dollar marketing campaigns for new drugs coming out of the pipeline. Patients in pain must do their due diligence to learn about how ketamine therapy is superior to many medical treatments advertised by the big drug companies.
WILL IV KETAMINE INFUSION WORK TO RELIEVE THE SYMPTOMS OF ANY CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROME?
Ketamine treatment works very well for a wide variety of chronic pain conditions. For example, it works very well for complex regional pain syndrome, previously known as RSD.
Patients with CRPS have reported excellent results, and a significantly reduced pain score after a series of infusions. During treatment, the dissociative effect of the medication makes pain immediately more tolerable.
Then, over time, the healing effects of ketamine on the brain work to relieve the underlying root cause of chronic pain, the maladaptive sensitization of the central nervous system. Both nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain are improved with less ongoing pain after a short series of infusions.
For patients with a spinal cord injury or nerve damage, leading to neck pain and back pain, the effects of ketamine on the NMDA receptor, and other effects of the medication contribute to making the chronic pain disorder more tolerable. Chronic pain patients are happy to get relief from their chronic pain condition without the side effects of opioid pain medication.
In addition to being safer than opioids, ketamine therapy is also safer than many procedures intended to relieve chronic pain, such as regional anesthesia. Ketamine infusion also helps with depression, which often goes hand-in-hand with chronic pain syndromes.
HOW DOES KETAMINE COMPARE TO OTHER MEDICATIONS FOR CHRONIC NEUROPATHIC PAIN, SUCH AS LYRICA OR GABAPENTIN?
Doctors consider these other medications to be safer than opioids because they are much less likely to be habit-forming, or lead to overdose. Yet, these drugs that work on the GABA receptors to reduce pain signal responses can also cause long-term problems for the patient.
While drugs such as Lyrica or Neurontin can be helpful short-term, it is best to limit use, if possible. Fortunately, ketamine therapy makes it possible to eliminate the need for additional medications, or at least maintain a low dose of any needed pain med.
Nerve pain can be very unpleasant, with a high pain intensity that reduces the patient’s ability to function in their daily activities. Unlike acute pain, chronic pain also causes stress and depression, because the patient knows that the pain is not going away any time soon.
After a series of at least six ketamine infusion treatments, the patient realizes that chronic pain can improve, so their mood also improves. Ketamine also improves anxiety and depression by its direct healing effects on the central nervous system.
Patients often discover, after a series of infusions, that they are able to taper off of psych meds, such as antidepressants and anxiolytics. With the help of their doctors, they gradually take less and less of these medications, as ketamine’s healing effects are realized.
CAN IV KETAMINE HELP WITH PAIN SYNDROMES SUCH AS FIBROMYALGIA?
At one time, patients suffering with fibromyalgia were treated with distrust by their doctors. Unfortunately, since there is no test to prove that someone has the condition, doctors believed that patients were making up the symptoms, either due to mental illness, or to get pain med prescriptions.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy was another painful condition that doctors doubted. When MRIs and CT scans showed no tissue damage, they concluded that the patient was not actually in pain.
Today, we know that fibromyalgia is real, and patients who have it feel severe pain with only a light touch. RSD is also now known to be real. It has been renamed complex regional pain syndrome type I (CRPS).
Ketamine infusion therapy is an ideal treatment for these pain syndromes for several reasons. First, ketamine works very well during the infusion period, and afterward during the healing and recovery process.
Additionally, doctors do not have to be concerned about regulatory issues relating to prescribing opioid pain medications to a patient without positive signs on a radiological study. Also, there is less risk of side effects with ketamine therapy compared to other drugs used to treat these conditions.
CAN PATIENTS WHO TAKE OPIOIDS FOR PAIN GET KETAMINE FOR CHRONIC PAIN MANAGEMENT?
Unfortunately, opioids are difficult to stop taking after long periods of use because of physical dependence. Physical dependence on prescribed opioids is different from addiction. A patient who takes medications as prescribed can become dependent without being addicted.
If a patient who takes opioids for chronic pain is interested in trying ketamine treatment for pain as an alternative, they may start the infusion series while they are still taking pain meds. There is no absolute need to taper off pain meds before starting ketamine infusion therapy.
After starting infusion treatment, many pain patients will discover that they are able to reduce their opioid pain medications more easily. The effects of ketamine, reducing pain, help the patient to reduce their meds.
Opioid medications have a high risk of causing serious adverse effects, including opioid addiction. When a patient finds another alternative that works for their pain, they will be better prepared to work towards stopping opioid meds for chronic pain.
Ketamine IV infusion treatments can also help with the opioid tapering process. By attenuating the withdrawal symptoms, patients are able to reduce their opioids with less distress and better daily functioning.
KETAMINE INFUSION FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT IS AN EXCELLENT THERAPY FOR BOTH ACUTE PAIN AND CHRONIC PAIN.
Acute pain, when left untreated or under treated, can progress to chronic pain. The central nervous system becomes sensitized to the sensation of being in pain.
When the original injury heals that was causing acute pain, and the pain remains, it is classified as chronic pain. When a person experiences an acute injury, starting ketamine treatments may help to prevent the progression to chronic pain.
There are many therapies that chiropractor offices provide for acute pain treatment after an accident, such as electrical stimulation, heat, massage, and adjustments. Accident victims may want to consider seeing a medical doctor as well with experience in providing ketamine infusion therapy for pain.
If the pain is acute, related to a recent injury, or medical problem, such as cancer pain, or pain from another disease process, ketamine therapy can help. Alternatively, if the pain is chronic, from an ongoing illness, or chronic pain syndrome, ketamine is quickly becoming the gold standard of treatment, because of its safety and efficacy in relieving pain and improving daily functioning.
GETTING STARTED WITH IV KETAMINE THERAPY FOR CHRONIC PAIN MANAGEMENT IS EASY.
Not all doctors provide ketamine infusion therapy. In order to get started, you will want to visit a ketamine clinic in Maryland.
Next, once you have arrived at the clinic, and you are checked in, all that you need to do is lay back and relax. Experienced healthcare workers will set up the IV line and start the infusion process.
Some clinics offer only ketamine treatments, while others are able to provide ketamine infusion and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) at the same time. TMS is indicated for the treatment of depression, but treating depression can help many patients to have improvements in their chronic pain symptoms.
After therapy has been completed, you may go home with a friend or family member to rest for the remainder of the day. Ketamine works to heal the brain with each session.
With each treatment, you will notice that your pain level is improving, and your pain is more tolerable. Functioning in your daily life becomes easier. Ketamine infusion therapy for chronic pain and neuropathic pain improves quality of life for patients by relieving their pain symptoms.