Chronic pain affects the lives of millions of Americans. The pain can originate from many sources, like injury, and persist for many months or years. Chronic pain can be debilitating and can drastically impact ones quality of life. Ketamine infusion trials have shown promise in the field of chronic pain management as a treatment that may be more effective and less risky than long-term narcotic use. Ketamine infusions additionally treat depression that is commonly associated with chronic pain.
What is CRPS?
- CRPS is a form of chronic pain condition that causes intense pain, usually in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. It may happen after an injury, either to a nerve or to tissue in the affected area. CRPS typically develops after an injury, a surgery, a stroke or a heart attack.
- Due to damage of the central nervous system, pain is amplified and more intense than that of a normal individual.
- Symptoms often include: burning pain, changes in skin temp/color/texture, skin hypersensitivity, swelling and stiffness of joints, decreased range of motion.
- Treatment usually includes pain medication, physical therapy, and nerve blocks, which can often be unsuccessful or exacerbate pain levels.
- There is no cure and symptoms often get worse if untreated.
Ketamine for CRPS
As an anesthetic, ketamine can block NMDA receptors, preventing nerves from firing pain levels and ultimately decreasing pain levels.
What is neuropathic pain?
Neuropathic pain is often chronis and is the result of damage to nerves and is characterized by burning or shooting pain, numbness and tingling
- Conservative treatments - NSAIDs.
- Nerve pain medications (Gabapentin).
- Epidural injections, spinal cord stimulation.
Ketamine for neuropathic pain
- Ketamine blocks NMDA receptors, preventing nerves from firing pain levels and ultimately decreasing pain levels.
- Ketamine can effectively reduce the symptoms of burning, tingling, or numbness associated with neuropathic pain much more immediately than medications.
- Ketamine reduces the need for long-term medication use.
What are migraines?
- Migraines are a recurring type of headache. They cause moderate to severe throbbing or pulsing pain, often on one side of your head. Many individuals also suffer from nausea, weakness, and sensitivity to light and sound.
- Migraines can be debilitating, making it impossible to carry out daily activities.
- Medication management.
- Over the counter pain relief medications (Advil, Excedrin migraine).
- Prescription medications (Sumatriptan - Imitrex; Maxalt; Aimovig), often come in nasal spray or injection.
- Anti-nausea medication.
Ketamine for Migraines
- Ketamine has been proven to decrease the frequency and intensity of migraines, with few adverse side effects.