How does our site make you feel?
Great   Indifferent

Why You Should Consider Ketamine as Part of Your Pain Management Routine

One contributor to the current opioid crisis is chronic pain. When there’s no treatment or cure for a pain-causing condition, or when the reasons behind chronic pain aren’t entirely clear, pain management is often the only option for care. 

However, prolonged use of many pain-relief drugs, including opioids, can create resistance to its effects for many patients, and increasing doses usually means increasing side effects, too. Intravenous (IV) infusions of ketamine may be an alternative for some people, reducing or eliminating the amounts of opioid medications needed to control chronic pain. 

Use of ketamine as a low-dose pain management treatment is growing quickly, indicating its effectiveness in clinical use. The first set of guidelines for the use of ketamine as a pain management therapy, introduced in 2018, has gained acceptance by several leading medical groups. 

Here are some of the key reasons why you should consider adding ketamine therapy to your chronic pain management regimen.

Safe and non-addictive

Ketamine gained prominence as a field medicine during the Vietnam War. Derived from the anesthetic phencyclidine hydrochloride (PCP), ketamine has only about one-tenth the potency of PCP, which proved to be a dangerous drug on the streets. 

Ketamine abuse does occur, but when it’s introduced into your body in low-dose IV infusions, it’s proving a safe and reliable way to relieve chronic pain, without the withdrawal symptoms that often plague those who use opioid medications.

Recommended for surgery

The safety of ketamine shows in the 2018 guidelines, which recommend it for use in patients undergoing painful surgery, even though there are newer drugs replacing it in the operating room itself. Used prior to surgery, ketamine can reduce postoperative pain and with it the need for opioid medications. 

Postoperative care often benefits from the pain relief mechanism used by ketamine, which is still effective, even in patients who show resistance to the effects of typical opioid pain control.

The most powerful medication of its type

Medically, ketamine is classed as an open-channel NMDA-receptor blocker, restricting activity of the thalamus and limbic systems. This means that ketamine stops some sensors in your central nervous system from receiving pain signals. Ketamine is also gaining attention for its potential to treat severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Heart-friendly anesthetic

Most intravenous anesthetics depress heart activity, lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Ketamine is unique in its class, having the opposite effect, increasing these numbers instead. This may make it the ideal option for some patients who react negatively to other anesthetics.

Ketamine infusion treatments

Many patients find IV ketamine infusions to be relaxing treatments. You may feel as though you’re floating while receiving the infusion, a sign that your body is reacting to the medication. How quickly ketamine starts to act varies by patients and, after an initial treatment, you may need follow-up booster infusions to continue full pain relief.

Pain management is highly individual, depending on your condition and level of chronic pain. Dr. James Nassiri at Westside Pain Specialists is an experienced doctor and anesthesiologist, well-versed in current pain management practices. Call either office, send us a message here on our website, or use the convenient online booking feature.

The sooner you schedule your consultation, the sooner you’ll enjoy relief from your chronic pain. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Don't Let Arthritis Keep You From Enjoying Life

Arthritis comes in many types and forms, most of which can leave you in pain while hindering your mobility. Because arthritis is an incurable condition, pain management is typically a primary treatment to keep your life limitations to a minimum.

Pain Medicine and COVID-19: What You Should Know

News media reported early in the COVID-19 pandemic that some pain medications may have negative effects on the viral infection and its symptoms. There’s no evidence, however, that this is the case, and over-the-counter pain relief remains safe.

How to Prevent Lower Back Pain

About 80% of all American adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. You can reduce your own chances of joining their ranks by making lifestyle changes and increasing your awareness of your body’s mechanics.

Why Does My Shoulder Hurt?

Shoulder pain has many potential issues, from simple overuse to tears and fractures. Arthritis may also be a factor. Because of the potential impact on your life, pain management for shoulder issues can be vitally important.

5 Myths About Arthritis

Comprising over 100 conditions, arthritic diseases have plenty of room for disinformation. The two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and even just these two present plenty of confusion. Let’s dispel five arthritis myths.