Ketamine Infusion Therapy for CRPS
Imagine living with chronic pain without any explanation or treatment. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a nightmare that nearly 200,000 Americans live with every day. But it doesn’t have to be. A proven treatment option is essential for patients suffering from near-constant pain. Research has provided some hope for patients suffering from near-constant pain. Ketamine infusion therapy for CRPS symptom management may be an effective first-line defense.
What is CRPS?
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a chronic neuroinflammatory disorder characterized by severe pain that is not proportional to the initial injury. When trauma-related tissue injury causes the nervous system and immune system to malfunction, CRPS can occur and the brain sends constant pain signals. The pain is described by patients as “burning,” tearing, or stinging sensations deep within the limbs. This condition is associated with pain levels that are among the worst on the McGill University Pain Scale. It is considered more severe than natural childbirth, amputation, and the physical effects of terminal cancer.
What Are The Symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
There is no one diagnostic tool for CRPS. The diagnosis is made based on the patient’s medical history, lab results, and physical examinations. Doctors must still rule out any other conditions that could explain the patient’s pain before deciding to diagnose CRPS. Despite the many difficulties patients have in obtaining a diagnosis there are some symptoms that indicate CRPS.
- Constant, unprovoked burning pain or throbbing, often in the arms, legs, or feet.
- A traumatic injury or event that causes severe pain, or where the pain doesn’t subside with healing.
- Changes in skin temperature–alternating between sweating and chills.
- Skin color changes, from white and blotchy skin to reddish or blue.
- Skin texture changes, such as a change in thickness, tenderness, or shine in the affected areas.
- Joint stiffness, swelling, or damage.
- Muscle spasms or weakness (atrophy), tremors, muscle spasms, or weakness.
- Reduced mobility in the affected area.
- Emotional disturbances and insomnia.
Individual symptoms will vary and could change. However, if the pain is worsening or is more severe than the original injury, it may be CRPS.
What are the Treatment Options for CRPS
Current treatment options include a combination of a variety of treatments, such as physical, behavioral, and medical therapies. Although doctors may try many different approaches to treating CRPS, their effectiveness is limited by the weakest link. For patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, traditional pharmacological methods for pain relief are not practical or effective.
CRPS activates NMDA and receptors in brains, making sufferers more sensitive to pain and less sensitive to the effects of opiates. This inverted relationship can be fatal, especially for those suffering from chronic pain. It might seem easy to think that decreasing pain levels equals greater pain relief. However, this is not the case when it comes down to managing CRPS. This treatment plan is more likely to cause adverse side effects because patients are less likely to feel the pain-relieving effects.
Opiate medication can cause respiratory depression, immune system weakness, and, strangely, an increase in pain response as the body develops a tolerance. The FDA considers opiate medication to be one of the most addictive class of drugs currently approved. This has contributed to more than 45,000 deaths in 2018.
Treatment of CRPS using Ketamine Infusion Therapy
Ketamine is an NMDA antagonist. This means it blocks the activity of CRPS activating NMDA cells in the brain. Patients can experience decreased CRPS-related discomfort by blocking certain neurotransmitters binding to these receptors. Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist. It also has a strong analgesic effect when intravenously administered. This mirrors the therapeutic benefits of opiate drugs for people who don’t suffer from CRPS.
For acute pain treatment, ketamine should be administered at 1 mg/kg/hr. However, this can be adjusted to meet individual patient needs. This treatment protocol is used to manage CRPS symptoms.
A 6-hour session of high-dose ketamine injection therapy (4 hours active infusion, 2 hours active recovery) before you are released to go home.
Maintenance infusions are given every 6-8 weeks, depending on the need. Ketamine is a well-recognized treatment for major depression. Patients can also experience relief almost immediately after receiving IV ketamine therapy. To learn more about IV Ketamine infusion therapy call Florida Medical Pain Management today!
Studies about the Success Rate of Ketamine Infusion Therapy for CRPS
One study conducted in 2016 by Schwartzman and colleagues showed that 76% of patients who received ketamine infusion therapy reported significant pain relief and improvement in physical functioning. Another study by Sigtermans and colleagues in 2009 reported that 74% of patients with CRPS who received ketamine infusion therapy experienced at least a 30% reduction in pain intensity.
A recent study published in the Journal of Pain Research in 2021 reported a success rate of 85.7% in reducing pain intensity and improving physical functioning in patients with CRPS who received ketamine infusion therapy. The study also found that the duration of pain relief was longer in patients who received repeated ketamine infusion therapy.
Side Effects of Ketamine Infusion Therapy
While Ketamine Infusion Therapy for CRPS has shown promise in managing symptoms, it is crucial to understand that, like any medical treatment, it may also have side effects. Some common side effects of Ketamine Infusion Therapy for CRPS include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Blurred vision or double vision
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Mild hallucinations or vivid dreams
- Elevated heart rate or blood pressure
- Mood changes or emotional instability
It is important to note that these side effects are generally mild and temporary and usually resolve within a few hours or days of the infusion. However, more severe side effects, such as seizures or allergic reactions, may occur in some rare cases.
At Florida Medical Pain Management, our doctors are experienced in managing the potential side effects of Ketamine Infusion Therapy for CRPS. Before undergoing the treatment, our doctors will conduct a thorough medical evaluation to determine if the patient is a good candidate for the therapy. During the infusion, our doctors will monitor the patient’s vital signs and adjust the dosage to minimize side effects.
Suppose a patient experiences any side effects during or after the infusion. In that case, our doctors can provide immediate medical attention and support. Our team will work with the patient to address any concerns or issues during the treatment process and ensure a positive and safe experience.
Request an Appointment Today
If you or a loved one is suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), it’s time to take action and find relief. At Florida Medical Pain Management, we offer Ketamine Infusion Therapy as a safe and effective treatment option for CRPS symptom management. Our experienced doctors have helped numerous patients find relief from near-constant pain using this innovative therapy.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how Ketamine Infusion Therapy can help.