Pain is usually experienced when an injury occurs. As the injury heals the pain is supposed to lessen and then go away once the injury is completely healed. Chronic pain does not work that way. After the injury heals, the brain is still receiving pain signals from the body. There is no time limit to how long this will last. It can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to years. Although it is considered chronic pain when it lasts twelve weeks or more. People are at risk of having chronic pain if they have had an injury, surgery, or if they are a woman or if they are overweight or obese. Chronic pain can not be cured but it can be managed. The most common examples of where chronic pain is felt are headaches, lower back pain, arthritis, post-trauma pain, and post-surgical pain.
There are three ways to deal with chronic pain. Medication, medical procedures, and lifestyle changes can help manage chronic pain. Medical procedures used to manage chronic pain are electrical stimulation, surgery, and nerve block. Some lifestyle changes that can be implemented to help manage chronic pain are physical therapy, yoga, pet therapy, and meditation. These lifestyle changes may not take the pain away completely but it can help ease the discomfort.
The most common way to deal with chronic pain is medication. Over the counter pain, medication and opioids are the most common. Over the counter pain, medication may not be strong enough and opioids are highly addictive.
It may surprise people to learn but recently ketamine treatment for chronic pain is widely used.. While known as Special K, ketamine has been used in different medications for at least 50 years. It is usually put in anesthetic during surgery. Recently doctors have started prescribing it in low doses to help patients manage chronic pain. ketamine has properties that stop pain by stopping the chemical receptors N-methyl-D-aspartate or NMDA. This receptor is found in the nervous system that regulates pain.
Some patients may benefit from using other medications to treat chronic pain. But for some those other methods do not work. For those people, ketamine may be the answer. If a patient has tried all other options or they have chronic pain and are about to participate in surgery, then ketamine may be very beneficial to them.
Doctors will try other options before prescribing ketamine because it may not work for all. It should also be carefully dosed. Ketamine can be given in a variety of ways. An IV is the method most doctors use, but it can be taken as a pill too. Ketamine can also be applied as a topical cream or inhaled. It can be injected in the bone or the muscle. But even with the different avenues used to administer ketamine it still needs to be dosed carefully.
If a patient is having no luck with other treatments then ketamine can be a treatment for their chronic pain. It doesn’t help all pain but if it does it should be monitored and administered cautiously. Some other things that can be done to deal with chronic pain are to continue to take part in everyday activities and taking care of one’s body. This includes eating well, getting enough rest, and exercising. Also, it is important for a person dealing with chronic pain to seek support from their family and friends. That comfort will help them through their difficult moments.