How Do Ketamine Infusions Work for Pain Management?

animated person holding neck with pain indicated from spine

How Do Ketamine Infusions Work for Pain Management?

Are you one of the 20.4 percent of Americans experiencing chronic pain? If so, you probably are looking for chronic pain relief because it disrupts your life.

Have you heard about ketamine infusions? This is a popular treatment to help block nerve pain and help you get back to a normal and less painful life.

Want to hear more and how it works? Keep reading to learn more about this pain treatment to see if it’s right for you.

The History of Ketamine

Ketamine is a type of anesthetic. It is used intravenously to induce and maintain anesthesia during surgery. Other popular names for ketamine include Ketanest, Ketaret, and Ketalar.

American scientist, Calvin Stevens, discovered ketamine in 1962. It is a derivative of PCP, which was used in 1926 as an anesthetic. These types of drugs are considered hallucinogens.

Ketamine began as a replacement for PCP as an anesthetic. PCP caused long-term, hallucinogenic effects when the patients woke up. PCP also was causing some cases of psychosis, delusions, and delirium.

Originally a veterinary anesthetic, medical professionals began using ketamine on humans in 1964. These tests showed that ketamine produced only minor hallucinogenic side effects that didn’t last as long as the PCP side effects.

Unfortunately, ketamine was in the illegal drug market in the 1970s and 80s. Its ingredients were altered and one of the mixtures created was the well-known drug, ecstasy.

However, when administered correctly and by medical professionals, ketamine is beneficial and helps relieve pain, depression, and other mental disorders. Today, we still use it as a trusted anesthetic for both humans and animals.

Ketamine for Pain Management

How is ketamine used for pain treatment? It blocks specific pain receptors in the brain. It also resets some of the nerve cells found in your spine and brain. This interaction is more effective at reducing some types of pain than other pain management methods.

Ketamine infusion can be used for different pain, including:

  • Neuropathic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Traumatic spinal injuries
  • Cancer-related back pain
  • Some types of nerve and back pain
  • Complex pain syndrome in certain regions

If ketamine infusions work for you, your pain relief may last much longer than other treatment options. You may feel better for days, weeks, or sometimes months, depending on your pain and condition.

How Ketamine Infusions Work

Ketamine infusions are administered intravenously at a medical facility. It takes anywhere from 45 minutes to about five hours, based on your condition.

These infusions have a much lower dosage for pain management than those used for surgical anesthesia. Depending on your treatment plan, you may also receive a few other medications to help relieve your pain and reduce any potential side effects.

During the infusion process, you may experience sensations of tingling, floating, or even a few mild hallucinations. Therefore, you will need to stay at the facility at least an hour after your treatment for observation. You should also plan to get a ride home for additional safety precautions.

You will not fall asleep as you do with anesthesia. However, you will feel relaxed and may want to close your eyes. Some patients find this treatment extremely relaxing.

Your first few treatments are to help you stabilize your pain or depression. Your doctor will work with you to help you get to where you want to be, and then you will work on the maintenance phase to help you with your pain treatment.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy Works Fast on Pain and Depression

Ketamine treats more than chronic pain conditions. If you suffer from depression, taking prescription antidepressants can take months or more to build up in your system so you feel a difference.

This means you have to wait at least a month for your feelings of depression to subside. In addition, you may have to try a variety of medications to find the one that works the best for you and your condition.

With ketamine infusion therapy, you may experience some improvement in your mood and pain within a few hours after your appointment. If you feel an improvement after one infusion, you are likely to feel this relief for a few weeks. Your doctor will create a customized therapy plan based on your pain, condition, and individual needs.

After your first treatment, you and your doctor can determine which intervals are beneficial to you to keep your positive results. You may also want to consider a combination of other therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapies, or holistic approaches for managing your depression and pain for the long term.

When to Consider Ketamine Infusions

If you are looking for other treatment options for your chronic pain related to your spine, neck, or back, a ketamine infusion may give you significant relief.

Other mental disorders for ketamine infusions treatment include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse or addiction disorders
  • Migraines

Ketamine infusions can be a power relief tool, but they aren’t the solution for everyone. If you have high blood pressure, a fast heart rate, thyroid disease, or a history of seizures or head injuries, consider other options.

How to Manage Chronic Pain

Are you looking for chronic pain relief? Ready to try ketamine infusions? As you now know, you don’t have to suffer from back, spine, or neck conditions or suffer through depression to benefit from them.

Contact Integrated Pain Consultants today—we are here to help you get back to where you want to be. We’re committed to helping you feel better with minimally invasive techniques to treat the root cause of your pain.



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