What You Can Do About Chronic Pain?

Feb 10, 2023
What You Can Do About Chronic Pain?
Defined loosely as pain that lasts longer than three months, chronic pain can be a treatment nightmare, since pain medications carry plenty of side effects when used over the long term. Chronic pain can also behave in unexpected ways.

Over 20% of American adults suffer from chronic pain, conditions that consistently last three months or more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A subset of almost 7.5% have high impact chronic pain, conditions that restrict daily activities at work and at home. 

Sometimes, chronic pain stems from a treatable condition while other times pain remains after there’s no longer an observable reason for the suffering. Conventional treatments may no longer prove effective, or the side effects of treatment could become as damaging as the pain. 

The team at KETA Medical Center has the answer for many patients with chronic pain that fails to respond to traditional treatment methods. Low-dose ketamine intravenous (IV) infusions show excellent results in the treatment of chronic pain, particularly when problems stem from nerve issues, medically known as neuropathic pain.  

What is ketamine?

A commonly used anesthetic agent, ketamine gained prominence as a field anesthetic soon after its approval for use in 1970. Unlike other drugs, ketamine has a reduced effect on the cardiovascular system. This reduces the time an anesthesiologist spends monitoring a patient’s blood pressure and respiration rate.

Despite its use for over 50 years, we continue to find new applications for ketamine. It’s now used as a way to control postoperative pain. Those with treatment-resistant depression now have an alternate therapy that works on different parts of the brain, making it a complementary alternative to traditional antidepressants. 

Low-dose infusions

Ketamine has also emerged as a treatment for chronic pain. Delivery method for this therapy is through an IV during a session lasting about an hour. Typically delivered in a series of treatments, you’ll enjoy quick relief from pain and, once your series finishes, you can expect months where your chronic pain symptoms subside.

Though ketamine can serve as a general anesthetic, a low-dose infusion won’t put you under, nor should it cause any sedation effects. We monitor your infusion and its effects on you, since every patient could have their own response. 

In low doses, ketamine works as a safe, effective, non-opioid pain reliever. In fact, its analgesic effects may help you reduce dosages of other medications you may already take. One of the hallmark benefits of ketamine is a reduced dependency on opioid painkillers. 

This reduces the intensity of side effects stemming from opioid medications, including low blood pressure, suppressed respiratory rates, constipation, and urinary retention. This is good news for many patients who can’t use opioids because of the side effects, which can also include drug dependency. 

Find out more about low-dose ketamine for your chronic pain in consultation with one of our experts at our Oradell, New Jersey office. You can make an appointment by phone or online. Also, watch for the opening of our New Rochelle location and our upper west side of Manhattan in NYC, coming soon. The fallout from chronic pain can sap your enjoyment for living. Book your visit today and start looking forward to moving past the pain.