Chronic pain is mysterious and often lasts for years. If you experience its symptoms but ignore them because you’re “tough” or think they’re just in your head, you’re doing yourself a grave injustice. Talk to a doctor, get diagnosed – and learn about treating symptoms to regain control of your life.
What is chronic pain?
“Chronic pain is long standing pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period or occurs along with a chronic health condition, such as arthritis. Chronic pain may be ‘on’ and ‘off’ or continuous. It may affect people to the point that they can’t work, eat properly, take part in physical activity, or enjoy life. Chronic pain is a major medical condition that can and should be treated.”
Many of its symptoms are treatable with ketamine.
How is chronic pain diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing chronic pain, talk with your doctor or therapist. They may recommend any number of diagnostics and test procedures. Before agreeing to anything, ask your doctor about health risks, and know the benefits of each test. For chronic pain relief, you could be expected to first undergo lab tests, musculoskeletal or neurological exams, imaging tests (magnetic resonance imaging and X-rays), or electrodiagnostic procedures. Diagnosis may also happen after a thorough mental health evaluation.
Who can treat chronic pain?
Besides your primary care doctor or mental health professional, there are a number of experts specializing in pain management whom your doctor may work with on your behalf or refer you to directly for care. These may include:
- Pain medicine specialists
- Orthopedic specialists and surgeons
- Osteopathic doctors
- Physiatrists or rehabilitation specialists
- Physical or occupational therapists
- Acupuncturists or chiropractors
You also may be referred to a doctor or clinician who specializes in treatment using ketamine.
What can I take for chronic pain?
The best kind of therapy for chronic pain is one you’re comfortable with, doesn’t interfere with other medication or conditions, and has a proven track record of success. Once a doctor has offered a diagnosis, and possibly identified the source of the pain, it may be recommended that you try:
- Analgesics for pain relief
- Topical products
- Hot or cold patches
- Massage therapy or relaxation techniques
- Various kinds of behavioral and mental health counseling
- Music, art, or pet therapy
Each of these could work differently over several months, and your doctor may recommend using ketamine to treat chronic pain.
What causes chronic pain?
Chronic pain is different from acute pain. It doesn’t have a known cause, and rarely goes away on its own or with basic care. The original cause may have been an injury or infection. The pain could also result from arthritis or cancer. This underscores the importance of diagnosis.
Who does chronic pain affect?
According to the National Health Interview Survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention:
- In 2019, 20.4% of U.S. adults experienced chronic pain and 7.4% of adults suffered chronic pain which regularly restricted life or work activities (this is called high impact chronic pain) in the previous 3 months.
- Chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain went up with age and were most prevalent among adults 65-years old and older.
- “Non-Hispanic white adults (23.6%) were more likely to have chronic pain compared with non-Hispanic black (19.3%), Hispanic (13.0%), and non-Hispanic Asian (6.8%) adults.”
- The survey also showed that the percentage of adults who experienced chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain went up as wherever they resided became more rural.
Chronic pain isn’t just a U.S. problem, but a global health risk. According to Boston University and the CDC, an estimated 1.5 billion people experience chronic pain symptoms annually.
The prognosis for chronic pain
Many people experiencing chronic pain can be helped if they recognize the causes and the numerous and different steps which can be taken to negate what chronic pain has done. Scientists believe that innovations in neuroscience can lead to more and improved treatments for chronic pain in the years ahead.
Ketamine for chronic pain
Ketamine has been around for more than 60 years. During most of that time, it was used as a pre- and post-surgical anesthetic, first gaining acceptance among injured U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. Since then, its psychotropic properties have kicked off numerous studies where doctors and scientists have uncovered evidence that it can treat symptoms of anxiety, depression, other mental illnesses, and chronic pain and other physical ailments. Ask your doctor if it’s right for you.
Ketamine, a prominent anesthetic known across the globe and used for decades, is also a powerful pain reliever. Ketamine is especially useful as a pain treatment because of its unique ability to possibly bring relief to pain symptoms within hours or even minutes, rather than the weeks or months traditional medication can take for some people.
Research into ketamine for mood and pain disorder treatment is still ongoing, but it is believed that ketamine helps foster new connections between synapses and restore damaged nerve connections. This, in essence, rewrites the parts of your brain contributing to your symptoms.
Contact us today to learn more about this innovative new treatment option.