Pain is a normal part of human life – it is your body’s way of warning you that something is wrong. In most cases, your body heals and you stop hurting. For others, however, this pain continues long after you have healed and is more intense. This is known as chronic pain.
Approximately one in four people (25%) with chronic pain suffer from a condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). This is a condition that has symptoms more than just chronic pain, including depression and anxiety – symptoms that will interfere greatly in a person’s everyday life.
Although the symptoms can be debilitating, there is hope for relief thanks to treatments like counseling, physical therapy, medications, and ketamine infusions.
- Joint problems
- Back pain
- Muscle strains
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Nerve damage
- Lyme disease
- Broken bones
- Acid reflux
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Anyone can develop chronic pain, although some factors can make a person more at risk, including the following:
Treatment for Chronic Pain
The treatment of chronic pain aims chiefly to reduce pain enough to allow you to carry out your everyday activities once again.
CRPS has no known cure, and treatment plans must be adjusted according to each individual.
In some cases, over-the-counter medications, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help reduce the symptoms of chronic pain. Some people find relief with opioid pain relievers, but the side effects can be harmful when abused.
There are also some general lifestyle changes and home remedies you can participate in to help ease the symptoms, such as engaging in physical therapy or yoga, seeing a therapist, or practicing meditation.
Ketamine for Chronic Pain Treatment
Ketamine was first approved by the FDA for use as an anesthetic, but it has also found significant use as a pain reliever over the years, with many organizations now recommending it for the treatment of chronic pain conditions.
Research into ketamine infusions for treating pain is still ongoing, but it is generally believed that ketamine helps to foster connections between synapses and restore damaged nerve connections, essentially “rewiring” the brain. Ketamine infusions may be particularly effective at not only treating the pain symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndrome, but also the additional depression and anxiety symptoms.
The recent FDA approval of Spravato (a ketamine-based nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression), as well as the development of new psychedelics research centers by John Hopkins, may indicate a shift in the chronic pain treatment industry, providing innovative new options like ketamine infusion to those who experience persistent and treatment-resistant chronic pain.