Combining Ketamine Therapy With Other Pain Management Strategies

Combining Ketamine Therapy With Other Pain Management Strategies

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What are ketamine infusions?” then you’re not alone. Even after decades of its use in various medical practices, including pain management, many people still don’t know much about ketamine. With several other pain management strategies available, you’ll likely want to know about how they interact with each other if you’re considering ketamine therapy for managing chronic pain.

Ketamine Therapy: An Overview

Pain is something that many individuals have to deal with. Whether it’s due to a chronic medical condition like arthritis or a terminal one like cancer, pain can quickly alter a person’s daily life for the worse. Ketamine therapy is one of several ways in which such pain is managed.

Pain can either be classified as acute or chronic. Acute pain tends to be of sudden onset or over a few minutes. Depending on its cause, it may resolve spontaneously or persist.

Chronic pain is more gradual in onset. What may begin as a niggling sensation can then progress to full-blown, unrelenting pain. Sometimes, the pain can persist even when the underlying medical condition is addressed.

Ketamine therapy is a very effective way of managing both acute and chronic pain.

While much of the ways through which ketamine produces pain relief is still under investigation, it is believed that it acts on some pathways within the body’s central nervous system, altering how neurotransmitters send signals from one portion of the body to another.

Ketamine therapy for chronic pain is usually administered intravenously, taking at least 40 minutes before the patient can begin to notice its pain-relieving effects.

You may need to see a doctor before considering ketamine therapy for pain. This is because you may have an underlying medical condition that could worsen once you begin this therapy.

Other Pain Management Strategies

Pain management has been an area of interest for many people for centuries. It’s therefore unsurprisingly that there are several pain management strategies besides ketamine therapy.

Before resorting to ketamine therapy, many people usually take over-the-counter (OTC) pain pills like paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Besides medications, other pain management strategies include:

●      Occupational and Physical Therapy

Many people resort to these therapies when dealing with chronic pain. They typically involve specific kinds of exercise to enable greater mobility. Given that immobility due to injury is one of the main causes of chronic pain, both physical and occupational therapies help the patient to perform certain motions without aggravating the pain.

Walking and cycling are other exercises that can complement such therapies, helping increase the range of motion while reducing pain.

●      Cold and Heat Treatment

For certain kinds of pain due to injuries like sprains, cold and heat treatment can be effective at reducing the inflammation that leads to pain. While you can do this at home using things like ice packs, you may need the guidance of a professional like a chiropractor if it’s not working, possibly because you’re not doing it well.

●      Mind-Body Techniques

The “flight or fight” response is one of your body’s mechanisms that can trigger or exacerbate pain. Techniques like meditation and breathing exercises can calm you down, ensuring that things like muscle tension (and aches) don’t worsen. Things like yoga can also be helpful in achieving a greater sense of body control (and pain management).

●      Biofeedback

A biofeedback machine is useful here. Once hooked, it takes things like heart rate and blood pressure and converts them into easily visualized cues like animations or blinking lights. Such visualization can help to enhance a greater sense of control over pain response.

●      Synergy

In medicine, it sometimes becomes necessary to administer several types of treatments concurrently, including drugs. Depending on how the different treatments work, they may enhance each other’s actions, leading to an overall effect that’s greater than those of individual treatments or drugs.

This is known as synergy.

Ketamine therapy can benefit from such synergy when combined with other pain management strategies.

Given that pain is usually the body’s way of indicating something has gone wrong, avoiding stressors that lead to such pain is a positive thing.

Undergoing ketamine therapy won’t be as beneficial to the patient if there are things that continually exacerbate the existing pain. For instance, if the pain is due to arthritis, engaging in somewhat strenuous activities will continue to stress such joints, leading to more pain despite the ketamine treatment.

As such, combining ketamine therapy with other types of pain management techniques like cold treatment and mind-body techniques can be useful as long as pain-aggravating factors are minimized or eliminated. Typically, ketamine will enhance pain relief through one body pathway while the other pain management strategies will enable pain control through another. This is the essence of combining ketamine therapy with other pain management techniques.

All in all, ketamine therapy can benefit from other pain management strategies, helping patients to experience better pain control.


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