While most assume that chronic pain can only arise from some kind of physical injury, research says this may not be the only source. In fact, more than 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain each year. Modern research into this condition explains that things like “repeated exposure to psychological trauma, or deep anxiety or depression—especially in childhood—can leave a physical imprint on the brain that can make some people…more vulnerable to chronic pain.” With the research pointing to new possible causes of pain, new medicine also needs to be made available, as well.

For most pain, there are over-the-counter treatments like lidocaine or ibuprofen, and for more severe cases, there are prescription opioids. While they are effective at treating pain, they can cause physical and emotional dependence, and become less effective over time.

An effective alternative that has not shown to cause dependence issues is ketamine. While it has been used since the 1970’s as a general anesthetic, it has also shown to be a useful tool for treating the symptoms of chronic pain, and other mental illnesses as well. In comparison to opioids, ketamine—an NMDA receptor-antagonist—does its work through the glutamate system.

Unsurprisingly, the research speaks for itself. In a number of cases, ketamine was proven to be more beneficial than its opioid counterpart, morphine. The results of 24 studies, which measured the effects of ketamine for various forms of pain, were as follows:

  • Central pain: 10 patients found that oral and parenteral ketamine reduced pain with only modest side effects.
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS): 3 patients found that epidural ketamine produced complete pain relief, with one patient reporting severe headaches and nausea.
  • Fibromyalgia: 46 patients found that ketamine increased pain endurance and reduced tenderness at trigger points in comparison to lidocaine, naloxone, and placebo.
  • Ischaemic pain: 8 patients found that intravenous ketamine (0.45 mg/kg) produced transient pain in all patients compared to 5 patients obtaining relief from morphine.
  • Orofacial pain: 3 patients found ketamine provided relief for pain that lasted for less than 3 years, and 1 patient found ketamine provided relief when compared to placebo.
  • Non-specific neuropathic pain: 24 patients found that ketamine reduced hyperalgesia and allodynia with less effect of continuous pain.
  • Phantom limb pain: 15 patients found ketamine to be beneficial.
  • Postherpetic neuralgia: 15 patients found that ketamine reduced pain.
  • Acute or chronic episodes of severe neuropathic pain: 1 patient whom was unresponsive to morphine and intrathecal bupivacaine found intravenous ketamine beneficial.
  • From these results, it is clear that the alternative sources of chronic pain can and should be treated more effectively with alternative methods, such as ketamine infusions. It is clear that this type of pain cannot be addressed using the same opioid therapies anymore. It’s time for a change in the way we treat chronic pain…

    Contact Tahoe Ketamine

    Call our Lake Tahoe area ketamine clinic and wellness center today if you are interested in a free consultation. Our staff will gladly answer any questions you may have about ketamine infusion therapy, or any of the holistic depression treatments we offer. We look forward to helping you become the best possible version of yourself.

    No Fields Found.