What Is Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
Most recently, intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions have become increasingly used to treat chronic pain. When used as a general anesthetic agent for major surgeries, ketamine results in the patient experiencing a complete loss of consciousness. However, whenever ketamine is administered in lower doses or a series of lower doses, it offers analgesic properties and dramatically eliminates or reduces chronic pain.
At Hudson Valley Spine and Pain, we use ketamine infusion therapy to treat a range of conditions with neuropathic origins when other treatments have been less than effective. At the same time, ketamine infusion therapy is being used to provide relief from a growing list of chronic pain syndromes. Continue reading to learn more about ketamine infusion therapy.
How Does Ketamine Infusion Therapy Work?
Pain signals are transmitted to and from your brain through a highly complex network of nerves running throughout your body. NMDA receptors — tiny receptors on your nerves — are tasked with collecting information and immediately relaying it to your brain whenever injury or damage occurs.
A large number of chronic pain conditions are the result of sharp increases in the number of NMDA brain receptors. Increases in these NMDA receptors are also thought to be responsible for:
- Major depression
- Chronic pain syndromes
- Other neurological disorders
With normal acute pain, your NMDA receptors will subside — as they should — once the pain subsides. However with chronic pain, these receptors fail to turn off and begin to multiply to create an enhanced pain signal. At Hudson Valley Spine and Pain, we use ketamine infusion therapy because it boasts the unique ability to interrupt the NMDA receptors, which effectively blocks the pain signal from reaching your brain.
Am I A Candidate for Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
Prior to receiving ketamine therapy or any other treatment, we will perform a thorough physical examination and a comprehensive review of your medical history to determine if you are the best candidate for treatment. Once we confirm you’ll be best suited with ketamine therapy, our physicians will use your examination results to determine infusion rate, ketamine dose, as well as the duration of the infusion. The people most likely to benefit from ketamine infusion therapy include:
- Patients with neuropathic pain that hasn’t been well controlled with nerve blocks, injections, or prescription pain medications.
- Patients suffering from debilitating fibromyalgia.
- Patients who suffer from chronic neck and back pain — who are no longer responsive to other types of treatment.
- Patients with Lyme disease
- Patients with intractable depression
- Patients with Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder or PTSD
Contact Hudson Valley Spine and Pain for Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
At Hudson Valley Spine and Pain, we administer ketamine therapy on site under the close supervision of our skilled medical professionals. Most patients report they feel the effects of the medication in anywhere from a few minutes to 15 minutes. While a standard ketamine infusion treatment can last anywhere from two to three hours; the length and frequency of your treatment will be based on your overall health and your condition.