Chronic pain has a longstanding reputation for being difficult to treat. Persistent pain seldom improves with medications, but there’s one exception, and that’s intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions. Patrick Oliver, MD, at MindPeace Clinics in Richmond, Arlington, and Norfolk, Virginia and Washington, D.C., offers ketamine infusion therapy that’s individualized to meet the severity of your chronic pain condition. If you need relief from the pain, call one of the offices or use the online booking feature to schedule your initial consultation.
The pain that develops due to an injury or illness, called acute pain, disappears when the underlying problem heals. By comparison, chronic pain lasts at least 12 weeks or persists long after the injury heals.
Chronic pain feels different to each person. Some have sharp pain, while others describe it as a throbbing ache or a burning sensation. No matter how it feels, ongoing pain drains your energy, interferes with your ability to sleep, and often leads to depression.
Ketamine is an anesthetic medication used during surgery. When you receive a sub-anesthetic dose, however, ketamine can effectively relieve chronic pain.
Ketamine works through several pathways in your brain. The medication activates opioid receptors, as well as NMDA receptors, which help regulate pain pathways.
Ketamine has the potential to treat a wide range of pain conditions, including neuropathic pain, low back pain, and migraines. Dr. Oliver often recommends ketamine for:
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that causes widespread muscle pain, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia. Many patients with fibromyalgia also experience other painful problems such as migraines.
CRPS is a nerve disorder that typically affects one limb. It begins as pain in the hand or foot and eventually may spread into the arm or leg.
Patients experience other symptoms, such as swelling, changes in the skin’s color, temperature, texture, and allodynia. Allodynia refers to feeling pain from things that aren’t normally painful.
CRPS is divided into two types. CRPS-I, also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), occurs following a musculoskeletal injury. CRPS-II develops following trauma to a nerve.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Oliver performs a thorough examination and determines if ketamine infusion is the best option for you. If you decide to move forward with treatment, he administers ketamine through a slow intravenous (IV) infusion, customizing each patient’s treatment based on the type and severity of their pain.
One typical treatment plan includes a series of increasing doses of ketamine infusions over three to five days. Each infusion takes between four to six hours. The same treatment is then repeated the following week.
During your ketamine sessions, your heart rate and blood pressure are continuously monitored. Otherwise, you simply relax in the comfortable reclining chair throughout your infusion.
If you need relief from chronic pain, call MindPeace Clinics or book an appointment online.