Do you suffer from chronic pain and want a solution that doesn’t involve narcotics or surgery? At Alpenglow Pain & Wellness, located in Anchorage, Alaska, Dr. Nichelle Renk specializes in a pain management treatment that you may have already heard of: Ketamine.
For the last 50 years, Ketamine has been used for people who experience chronic pain. In low doses, this drug is safe to use when prescribed and administered by a medical professional.
Who can benefit from Ketamine
Ketamine works to regulate pain levels by targeting a chemical receptor in the nervous system called NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate). Patients who don’t respond well to other pain treatments or medications may find ketamine helpful. For patients about to undergo surgery who may be sensitive to opioid pain relievers, intravenous (IV) Ketamine is a good alternative.
Ketamine is recommended for people who suffer from the following conditions:
IV ketamine therapy has had significant results in patients with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder. After a few rounds of treatment, patients have reported less tenderness in certain painful parts of the body, and their physical endurance has improved.
For patients who have had no luck with other migraine treatments, Ketamine infusions have had a good amount of success. Overall, patients’ migraine pain decreased from 7.5 to 3.4 on a pain scale in which 1 is low pain and 10 is the worst pain. Typically, the best results occurred after day four of the ketamine treatment.
Ketamine treatment has been found to be successful in managing pain levels in patients who experience regular physical difficulties and challenges. The treatment is typically most effective in pain reduction after three months.
Ketamine affects glutamate activity, which is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that can lead to extreme tiredness. Limited amounts of ketamine have been found to increase brain function to help patients feel more energized. Ketamine has also been shown to improve fatigue compared to a placebo in patients with treatment-resistant bipolar depression.
Scientists aren’t totally clear on how ketamine works to help depression, but it may help redirect the brain receptors in patients with chemical imbalances that cause depression. It may also work by facilitating communication between certain areas of the brain or by decreasing inflammatory signals.
Potential side effects of Ketamine
The side effects of Ketamine differ in patients, but the most common ones are temporary hallucinations, out of body experiences, short-term memory loss, nausea, and panic attacks. In clinical studies, ketamine was well-tolerated by most patients using it for chronic pain and especially when administered by slow infusion.
How Ketamine is administered
When used to treat chronic pain, depression, and fatigue, Ketamine is administered by slow IV infusion in the nursing area at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness office.
If you’re ready to try an alternative for chronic pain management or want to avoid the use of opioid pain relievers during and after surgery, you can reach Dr. Renk by calling 907-313-2976. You can also submit any questions through the contact form on our website.