Chronic Pain Treatment

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Ketamine For Chronic Pain Management

Ketamine is an anesthetic medication that was originally approved by the FDA to sedate patients during surgery and other invasive procedures. However, administered in low doses by a healthcare professional, this drug is also showing promise in the treatment of chronic pain.

Ketamine is now being used more often in clinical and healthcare settings to help manage patient’s pain. Many doctors are recommending ketamine infusion therapy for pain that’s not being well managed by other forms of pain medications. At Pacific Ketamine Institute, under Dr. Steuer’s care, we see a success rate of 85% when treating patients who have chronic pain with IV Ketamine.

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When Should Ketamine Be Used For Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is pain that can result from a variety of causes and conditions such as spinal cord injury, fibromyalgia, arthritis, cancer or CRPS. Ketamine is also an incredibly effective therapy for opioid-resistant pain, migraine pain and neuropathic pain.

There are a few instances when ketamine treatment is not recommended such as when patients have high blood pressure, fast or irregular heartbeat, or history of a seizure disorder. Dr. Steuer can help you decide if you are an ideal candidate for alternative treatment methods such as ketamine therapy.

How Is Ketamine For Chronic Pain Administered?

Ketamine is administered in various methods to help relieve pain and block pain signals including intravenous (IV) infusions or nasal spray. In low doses, ketamine works as an analgesic to bring relief to chronic pain.

The Department of Anesthesiology at Leiden University in the Netherlands conducted a study on the effects of ketamine used to treat various chronic pain syndromes. The study found that “Current data on short term infusions indicate that ketamine produces potent analgesia during administration only, while three studies on the effect of prolonged infusion show long-term analgesic effects up to 3 months following infusion.”

Based on this study, and other current medical research, ketamine works best for pain control when scheduled as a series of infusions spread out over the course of a few weeks. Once you complete your initial ketamine IV treatment plan, Dr. Steuer may recommend an occasional booster session to ensure you continue to experience relief from your pain syndrome.

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What Other Medications are Used for Chronic Pain?

Depending on the exact type of chronic pain you experience, your doctor may prescribe pain relievers and different medications. Some of the common pain medications used for chronic pain relief include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Opioids
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Topical analgesics

These pain relievers are available either by prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

What Else Relieves Chronic Pain?
Not everyone will find relief from their pain using acetaminophen, OTC or prescription medications. There are other therapy options that you might want to research to determine if they will relieve and improve your chronic pain symptoms.

A few of these non-drug pain-relieving therapies include:

Transcutaneous Electro-Nerve Stimulation (TENS) units

Trigger point injections

Surgical implants

Bioelectric therapy

Physical therapy

Exercise

Psychological treatment / talk therapy

Alternative therapies such as chiropractic adjustments

When you’ve tried a variety of treatments as prescribed by your primary care physician, and nothing brings long-term relief, it’s time to look at newer therapy modalities such as ketamine.

Can Chronic Pain Ever Go Away?
Acute pain is temporary and goes away after a short period of hours, days, or possibly weeks. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is any type of pain that occurs for more than three months.

Chronic pain may worsen over time, occur intermittently and outlasts the usual healing process after injury, trauma or surgery. Once the underlying cause of the trauma is treated and your injuries heal, pain should go away. According to SPINE-health, “Chronic pain can persist after injuries heal for no apparent biological cause.”
Headache, low back pain and arthritic pain are a few of the more common types of chronic pain. Working with a pain management team can help you sleep better, care for yourself and participate in normal everyday activities at work and at home. While you may never get 100 percent relief, certain medications and treatments like ketamine infusion therapy may provide long-term relief from your pain symptoms to help improve your quality of life.

Resources

Department of Anesthesiology, Leiden University Medical Center, RC Leiden, the Netherlands. Ketamine for Chronic Pain: Risks and Benefits. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23432384

SPINE-health. Chronic Pain Definition. Retrieved from: https://www.spine-health.com/glossary/chronic-pain

Contact Pacific Ketamine Clinic Of Los Angeles

Are you looking for chronic pain management in Los Angeles, but haven’t seen optimal results from other pain medicine? The caring physicians and medical staff at Pacific Ketamine Institute will review your medical history to create a treatment plan to help treat your pain so you can get your life back.

Contact us today at (424) 359-1488 to get started on your journey to health and wellness.

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