Effective Chronic Pain treatment in San Luis Obispo, CA.
What is Ketamine Therapy for Chronic Pain?
Ketamine works by interacting with a specific type of receptor in the brain called the NMDA receptor. This interaction helps regulate the levels of certain neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that transmit signals in the brain. By modulating these receptors, ketamine can influence the way the brain perceives and processes pain signals.
Chronic pain often involves the repetitive firing of pain signals in the nervous system. Ketamine has the ability to interrupt and reset these signals, essentially providing a "reset" to the pain pathways in the brain. This interruption can lead to a reduction in the perception of pain.
Ketamine may also have anti-inflammatory effects, helping to reduce inflammation that can contribute to chronic pain conditions. By dampening inflammation, ketamine can contribute to pain relief. Ketamine has also been found to promote neuroplasticity, which is the brain's ability to adapt and reorganize itself. This can be beneficial in chronic pain conditions by potentially rewiring the neural pathways associated with pain, leading to long-term improvements.
The rapid-acting pain relief and antidepressant effects of Ketamine have been life changing for our patients. We welcome you to try Ketamine therapy, even for a single session.
Frequently Asked Questions about
Ketamine Therapy for Chronic Pain
What Conditions Can Ketamine Therapy Treat?
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Neuropathic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Migrains and Headaches, Cancer Pain, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, and Chronic Back Pain are all conditions that can benefit from ketamine therapy.
How Long Does the Relief Last After a Ketamine Treatment?
The duration of pain relief after a ketamine treatment can vary from person to person and depends on several factors, including the individual's response to the treatment, the specific chronic pain condition being addressed, and the overall treatment plan. In some cases, individuals may experience immediate relief or a significant reduction in pain shortly after a ketamine infusion. However, it's important to note that the effects of ketamine can be temporary, and the duration of pain relief may vary. For some individuals, the pain relief from a single ketamine treatment may last for a few days to a few weeks. In certain cases, a series of ketamine treatments may be recommended to achieve more sustained and longer-term benefits. The frequency and number of treatments can be determined by the healthcare provider based on the patient's response and the nature of their chronic pain condition.
How Many Sessions Are Typically Required?
The number of ketamine sessions required to experience relief from chronic pain can vary widely among individuals. It depends on factors such as the specific chronic pain condition, the severity of symptoms, the individual's response to ketamine, and the treatment plan prescribed by the healthcare provider. In some cases, individuals may experience significant pain relief after just one or a few ketamine sessions. However, for longer-lasting and more sustained benefits, a series of sessions may be recommended. The frequency of sessions can vary, but it's not uncommon for individuals to undergo a series of infusions over a period of weeks.
Can Ketamine Therapy Be Combined with Other Pain Treatments?
Yes, ketamine therapy can be combined with other pain treatments, and this approach is often referred to as multimodal or combination therapy. Dr. Starr recognizes that chronic pain is a complex and multifaceted condition, and addressing it may require a combination of different therapeutic approaches. Ketamine therapy can be used in conjunction with other pain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids, or neuropathic pain medications. The combination aims to provide a more comprehensive approach to pain management. Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises can complement ketamine therapy. Physical therapists work to improve mobility, strength, and flexibility, contributing to overall pain relief and functional improvement. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or other forms of psychological support can be integrated with ketamine therapy. Managing chronic pain often involves addressing the psychological and emotional aspects of pain perception. Adjustments to existing pain medications may be made based on the patient's response to ketamine therapy. This could involve tapering down certain medications or optimizing their use.
What Can I Expect During a Ketamine Session?
Before the session, Dr. Starr will conduct a pre-assessment, which may include a review of your medical history, a discussion about your mental health and/or chronic pain condition, and an evaluation of your overall health. This helps ensure that ketamine therapy is appropriate for you. During the session, you'll be connected to monitors to measure vital signs such as heart rate and oxygen levels. This ensures that our healthcare team can closely monitor your safety throughout the infusion. The infusion process typically takes about 40 minutes to an hour. The duration can vary based on the specific protocol determined by Dr. Starr. As the ketamine takes effect, you may experience altered sensations, changes in perception, and a dissociative state. Some individuals report vivid dreams or hallucinations during the infusion. It's important to note that these experiences are temporary and wear off as the effects of ketamine subside. After the ketamine infusion is complete, you'll be monitored as the effects gradually wear off. Our healthcare team will ensure that you are in a stable condition before you leave the treatment area.