How Ketamine can Assist Your Pain Management

Chronic pain has become a growing epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 20% of American adults (approximately 50 million people) experience chronic pain. In addition to the negative effects that living with pain has on an individual’s health and overall quality of life, it also accounts for billions of dollars in lost productivity and health care costs every year. 

If you’re one of the millions of Americans living with pain, we have solutions to help you cope and continue to enjoy a fruitful and productive quality of life. At The Painless Center, our physician Chi-Shin Jason Chiu, MD, is double-board certified in pain management and anesthesia and offers customized pain management solutions from two convenient locations in Fort Lee and Carlstadt, New Jersey. 

How ketamine helps with pain

Ketamine has gained attention in recent years as an alternative to opioids for pain management. Despite the fact that ketamine was originally intended for use as an anesthesia medication in the mid-twentieth century, it has also been abused as a recreational drug in the last few decades. 

In addition to its potential for treating depression, new studies are also taking a look at how ketamine may be able to supplement pain management plans. This can be especially significant in light of the recent opioid epidemic sweeping the United States. 

Ketamine infusions are used for both acute (sudden onset) and chronic (long term) pain, typically as an IV infusion. It’s also used as an anesthetic in pre-surgical procedures and recommended for opioid-tolerant patients. The guidelines for using ketamine for acute and chronic pain have been established by the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA), the American Academy of Pain Medicine, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists' Committees on Pain Medicine and Standards and Practice Parameters.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, ketamine infusions may help to ease overactive nerve signals for patients suffering from problems like complex regional pain syndrome after an injury or while in recovery from a surgical procedure. In addition to being a potential supplement to pain management plans that rely heavily on addictive opioids, ketamine may also help when other pain therapies like steroids or nerve blockers stop working or provide insufficient results. 

For more information about ketamine and other pain management solutions available to you, contact us at The Painless Center to schedule an appointment at our Fort Lee or Carlstadt, New Jersey office. 

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