Since the 1970s, Ketamine has been legally used in the surgery arena as an anesthetic. Recently, there has been a lot of interesting debate about ketamine’s role in chronic pain management treatment.
Doctors have started prescribing low medication doses to patients struggling with chronic pain conditions like CRPS [Complex Regional Pain Syndrome]. Ketamine drug induces sedative, analgesic, and amnesic effects on the receptors it interacts with, so its clinical uses can be expansive.
What is CRPS?
With CRPS, patients can hardly get around. It is like closing a fast-paced lifestyle chapter. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome strikes post recovery from minor surgery, fracture, or pain. It causes sensitivity or intense pain to small stimuli in your legs or arms.
If you reside near Arlington or Richmond in VA, call Mind Peace Clinic to find more about the Ketamine Infusion Therapy they offer. Is it right for you?
How does ketamine work?
If you suffer from CRPS there will be changes in the functioning of your central nervous system. These changes set-up chronic pain signals from a normal leg bump with a table or touching cold items. Normal collision or bang stimuli cause severe and intense pain.
The pain amplification is because of an activated nerve cell receptor called NMDA [N-Mehtyl-D-Asparate]. NMDA is a specific kind of chemical receptors located in your nervous system that modulates pain. Ketamine’s anesthetic capabilities work on NMDA receptors, inhibiting them from firing intense pain sensations.
When ketamine therapy is recommended?
Ketamine therapy is recommended to patients struggling with chronic pain whose following treatments were ineffective.
- Steroid or pain relievers or other medications
- Physical therapy
- Nerve block
- Neuromodulation [electric stimulation is used to dampen nerve firing to decrease the pain]
If you suffer from CRPS then you will be struggling with 2 to 3 of the following symptoms.
- Skin swelling
- Low mobility
- Skin color changes
- Changes in hair or/and nail growth
Ketamine acts only on a specific set of receptors in the spinal cord. All patients suffering from pain are not recommended Ketamine because their NMDA receptors are not activated. Therefore, the doctors prescribe Ketamine therapy cautiously because often CRPS is misdiagnosed. Pain can possibly be due to diabetes or another set of symptoms.
Who is not eligible for ketamine therapy?
Patients are screened carefully to ensure they are not suffering from a severe liver issue, poor cardiovascular disease substance abuse dilemmas, glaucoma, poorly controlled psychosis, schizophrenia, and raised intracranial pressure.
What to expect from a ketamine therapy?
Ketamine is delivered in the blood via IV lines. The infusions are performed as an outpatient at the mindpeaceclinic. The infusion duration is 3 to 4 hours. The ketamine dosage is titrated for optimal effects. The staff monitors the infusion process to ensure your vital signs stay normal.
- Heart rate
- Oxygen levels
- Blood pressure
The ketamine dosage used is sub-anesthetic, so you possibly remain more alert. At the start, the infusion has a low dose but slowly it gets increased. You may feel drowsy or even fall asleep. The nurse will ask your response to stimuli often, so you will not be entirely unconscious, during the infusion process.
After the infusion, you will need to rest for a minimum of one-hour. You will be awake, alert as well as move around but driving home is not allowed. Therefore, bring along your friend or closer ones to drive you home after the infusion process gets concluded.