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Can Ketamine Therapy Treat Pain?

A New Paradigm for Healing

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Research that was conducted by the Center for Disease Control, or the CDC, in 2019 found that as many as 20% of all adults experience chronic pain. In 2023, more people than ever are living with a diagnosis of pain-related disorders, such as fibromyalgia, which has led to more people needing pharmaceutical pain relief, as well as an increase in the research to treat chronic pain.

Many people do find relief from their chronic pain with pain medications and physical therapy. However, for others, there may be a comorbid condition that is worsening the discomfort, such as depression or PTSD. This is where ketamine therapy comes in at Daydream MD.

What Is Ketamine?

Few people outside of psychology or medical-related circles have heard of ketamine, let alone ketamine treatment or ketamine infusions.

Ketamine has been used medically for over five decades as an anesthetic. It was usually used in emergency rooms and dental surgeries and was one of the go-to pain relievers. However, in recent times, ketamine treatment has gained attention for its potential usage to treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and treatment-resistant depression and to help manage chronic pain.

What Conditions Can Ketamine Help Manage?

As mentioned before, ketamine has been used for medical purposes for over five decades, but its clinical use began in the 1900s. During this period, antidepressant medication had yet to be fine-tuned, and the researchers at Yale noticed how ketamine usage created an antidepressant effect. 

Studies that followed found evidence to support this, finding that low-dosage ketamine infusion therapy for depression was successful in a significant number of patients. As well as this, even in 2023, the use of ketamine to treat depression, anxiety, and treatment-resistant depression has fewer side effects than many antidepressants.

Ketamine infusion therapy has also been implicated off-label for the treatment of a range of mental health disorders linked to chronic pain, including:

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Anxiety disorders- generalized anxiety, agoraphobia.

  • Suicidal ideation.

  • Treatment-resistant depression, severe major depressive disorder. 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder and complex post-traumatic stress disorder. 

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

How Does Ketamine For Chronic Pain Work?

One of the most common FAQs that we receive from our service users at Daydream MD:  how does ketamine infusion therapy work?

The mechanisms behind the therapeutic effects of ketamine infusion therapy are not completely understood, so more research needs to be done. When it comes to using ketamine infusion therapy for chronic pain, it is thought that the N-methyl-D-aspartate or NMDA receptors are blocked or lessened. Why is this important? NMDA receptors are linked to pain; by blocking these, the person who has been having the treatment will feel less discomfort.

Research that has been conducted into ketamine has also linked it to synaptic plasticity in the brain. This term has been used a lot in the media recently and is linked to how the brain can be altered to reduce or heighten synaptic responses. Research has found that people who experience chronic pain also have more pain-signaling neurons, so by adapting the plasticity of the brain, ketamine can help reduce the discomfort that a person will feel. Indeed, as ketamine’s mode of action is on the NMDA receptors, it can be particularly useful for people who have neuropathic or nerve pain. This does mean, however, that it may not be suitable for other chronic pain conditions.

Ketamin Teatments & Servics

Why Should You Choose Ketamine Therapy?

Another common question we receive at Daydream MD is what is ketamine infusion therapy and why someone should choose it to help treat their chronic pain or their depression.

When paired with cognitive behavioral therapy, ketamine is an effective option for treating depression and chronic pain without any serious side effects. Our team at Daydream MD will have to assess the suitability of each patient and then devise a treatment plan for them.

Another benefit of undertaking ketamine therapy is that it works quickly. It has been found to provide relief in as little as 40 minutes after the infusion, making it ideal for patients with chronic pain or the associated high blood pressure.

At the present time, ketamine infusions are not FDA-approved. However, research has shown that they can provide long-term relief for chronic pain instead of pain relievers, which can stop pain for around four hours at a time.

When To Consider Ketamine Treatment For Chronic Pain Treatment

If you have been experiencing chronic pain that has been unresponsive to typical medications, or you have been having issues with the side effects of pain relievers, then contact our team at Daydream MD today about our ketamine therapy. We will assess if this treatment could benefit you and will aim to help you get your life back on track today.

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