If you’re struggling with fibromyalgia, you’re no stranger to pain, which can hijack your life in countless ways. And finding relief for this musculoskeletal pain is frustrating since the origin of the pain appears to stem from a problem in the way the neurotransmitters in your brain function.
To tackle the pain where it starts — your brain — many pain management specialists are turning to ketamine infusion therapy, including our team here at Pain Medicine Consultants, and we’ve seen some great results.
If you’re living with fibromyalgia, here’s a look at how ketamine can help.
Fibromyalgia, or fibro, is an extremely tricky disorder to pin down and diagnose since so little is known about how the condition takes hold in your nervous and musculoskeletal systems. What we do know is that this complex chronic pain disorder can amplify the pain messaging in your brain, leaving you with unexplained and system-wide pain, as well as chronic fatigue, mood problems, and cognitive issues (fibro fog).
Fibromyalgia affects women far more than men, and it can develop on the heels of physical or emotional trauma. That said, anyone can develop fibromyalgia, even without a precipitating incident.
What all of this leads to is the fact that there’s no cure for fibromyalgia since the exact cause of the condition hasn’t been identified. This, in turn, leaves the medical world to treat the disorder symptomatically, with very mixed results.
Thankfully, ketamine infusion therapy is giving fibromyalgia sufferers new hope by finally allowing them to gain the upper hand on their pain and discomfort.
How ketamine works
Ketamine was first introduced in the 1950s as an anesthetic that was highly effective for several reasons.
First, the drug attaches itself to receptors in your brain and disrupts pain signaling. Second, ketamine is a dissociative medication that not only stops the pain, but creates a euphoric effect. Lastly, ketamine doesn’t suppress your cardiovascular or respiratory functions as many painkillers do, which means it’s safer to use in a wider variety of patients.
Ketamine has been in use for decades in both humans and animals as an effective anesthetic, but the medical world began to see other benefits from the use of ketamine, such as a reduction in depression and anxiety. Researchers believe that ketamine achieves this by rewiring your brain, forming healthier neural pathways.
When it comes to fibromyalgia, which is a disease of the brain and body, ketamine delivers a powerful neurological punch in that it not only tackles the pain, but also some of the mood instability that’s often associated with the condition.
The road to relief with ketamine
If we find that you are a good candidate for ketamine, we may recommend a series of infusions in which we deliver a controlled dose of ketamine intravenously. We administer the ketamine infusions in our offices, and they typically take about an hour, after which time you’re free to go (though you need to have someone drive you).
The number of treatments you need depends upon your unique situation, but you should count on several to start. As you progress, we gauge how you respond and make any necessary adjustments along the way, with the ultimate goal of restoring your quality of life again.
If you’d like to explore whether you’re a candidate for this life-changing fibromyalgia treatment, please contact one of our four offices.