Limbic Medical

Ketamine for Pain Management

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Publish date

02/08/2024

Pain management is an important medical discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life for those suffering from chronic and acute pain. Pain management with ketamine therapy represents a significant breakthrough in pain management that has helped alleviate chronic pain for many chronic pain sufferers. This treatment is quickly gaining recognition for its effectiveness in addressing complex pain conditions where traditional therapies have fallen short.

What is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine is a revolutionary medication with multiple uses. Ketamine has been FDA approved as an anesthetic since 1970, but is also used in pain management for its pain-blocking and dissociative properties. Unlike conventional painkillers that target opioid receptors, ketamine acts on the NMDA receptors in the brain. These receptors play a role in pain sensation, pain memory development, and the persistence of discomfort in chronic pain conditions. By blocking these receptors, ketamine disrupts pain signaling pathways, providing immediate and profound analgesic effects. The downstream effects of ketamine’s mechanism of action include an increase in Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, which plays a large role in synaptic plasticity as well as pain modulation. Ketamine possesses anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting cytokine making it an ideal tool for pain management cases. Additionally, ketamine induces a dissociative state, which can help patients distance themselves from chronic pain.

At Limbic Medical, we deliver ketamine therapy through a series of intravenous (IV) infusions under medical supervision. Infusion ketamine therapy assures patient safety and allows precise control over dosage and response. By extending care beyond the clinic through at-home microdose ketamine treatments and specially designed nutraceuticals to bolster neuronal health, we ensure the lasting impact of the initial IV treatments. Our holistic method enhances treatment effectiveness, supporting patients on their path to recovery by seamlessly merging professional medical oversight with personalized at-home care.

The Benefits of Ketamine

Pain management with ketamine therapy can provide rapid relief even if other treatments have not. Unlike conventional treatments that may take weeks or even months to show any benefit, ketamine can provide relief from pain symptoms almost immediately following infusion. This is especially valuable for patients suffering from severe and debilitating pain conditions, where fast-acting relief can drastically improve quality of life.

Furthermore, ketamine therapy has the potential to produce long-lasting pain relief, even in those who have seen little relief from other treatment methods. In chronic pain conditions, such as mixed neuropathic pain, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), and phantom limb pain, ketamine is an effective long-term treatment option.1

The Success of Ketamine

Scientific research increasingly supports ketamine as an effective pain management solution, with numerous studies and case reports demonstrating its potential. One such study from the National Library of Medicine2 (NLM) showed significant pain reduction with ketamine infusions, regardless of nerve damage. The greatest pain reduction was observed between 48 hours and two weeks after the infusion, with effects lasting multiple weeks following the conclusion of treatment. The durability of ketamine’s effects, along with its success in treating pain from nerve damage, show it can be widely used and opens up new possibilities for treating chronic pain.

Applications of Ketamine in Pain Management

Ketamine has shown promise in treating a variety of complex pain conditions that are often resistant to conventional pain management strategies, including:

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

CRPS is characterized by intense, persistent pain that typically affects the arms or legs. It can arise after injury, surgery, or without any known trigger, significantly impacting a patient’s day-to-day life. Ketamine’s ability to block NMDA receptors can help mitigate the exaggerated pain response associated with CRPS.1

Fibromyalgia

This chronic condition is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory, and mood issues. It represents a significant challenge for patients and clinicians alike due to its complex symptoms and the often inadequate response to traditional treatments. Ketamine therapy can provide swift symptom improvement for patients with fibromyalgia, offering a chance for true and lasting relief by targeting the central nervous system’s dysregulation that underlies the condition.

Neuropathic Pain

Conditions like neuropathy and neuralgia result in severe nerve pain due to nerve damage or malfunction, leading to symptoms that can be debilitating and resistant to standard pain management approaches. Ketamine’s neuroplastic effects represent a cutting-edge treatment option, helping damaged nerves regrow healthy connections and thereby alleviating the underlying pain symptoms.

Chronic Cancer Pain

Managing pain3 is a crucial concern for cancer patients, as it can severely impact their quality of life, ability to tolerate treatments, and overall prognosis. Traditional pain management strategies often rely heavily on opioids, which can lead to dependency and other side effects. Ketamine offers a valuable alternative, acting through a different mechanism that can reduce pain without the same risk of dependency.4

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome affects the body’s connective tissue, primarily the skin, joints and blood vessel walls. The most common symptoms include overly flexible joints and stretchy skin. Ketamine has been used successfully to treat pain from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome5, achieving a dramatic reduction in pain levels.

Pain and Inflammation

Ketamine can help alleviate pain associated with most chronic inflammatory states (such as auto-immune disorders, leaky gut, etc.) that cause pain. Ketamine’s anti-inflammatory and immune modulating properties make it an ideal treatment for pain brought on by chronic inflammation.

Why Choose Limbic Medical?

Choosing Limbic Medical for pain management with ketamine therapy means entrusting your care to a team renowned for our expertise and personalized approach. With vast experience in anesthesiology and pain management, our team develops individualized care plans tailored to the unique needs of each patient.

We are committed to personalized care, blending ketamine therapy seamlessly with the principles of functional medicine, including diet, nutrition, exercise, and sleep optimization. This integrative approach ensures our treatments go beyond symptom relief, aiming to address the underlying causes of pain for more profound and enduring relief.

We are proud to set ourselves apart with our innovative treatment options, offering a combination of IV ketamine therapy alongside at-home ketamine maintenance and customized nutraceutical regimens to maximize therapeutic benefits. Contact us today to learn more about how ketamine can help relieve your chronic pain symptoms!

Sources:

1. “Ketamine for the Treatment of Chronic Pain: A Comprehensive Review.” NCBI, 10 July 2021

2. “Ketamine Infusions for Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” PubMed, 2019

3. “Successful use of ketamine for intractable cancer pain.” Springer Link, 4 October 2004

4. Beach, Michael L. “Intraoperative ketamine reduces perioperative opiate consumption in opiate-dependent patients with chronic back pain undergoing back surgery.” PubMed, 2010

5. “Reduction of central neuropathic pain with ketamine infusion in a patient with Ehlers–Danlos syndrome: a case report.” NCBI, 15 September 2016