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How Does Ketamine Therapy Help Fibromyalgia?

Jul 13, 2023
How Does Ketamine Therapy Help Fibromyalgia?
When the description of fibromyalgia is “abnormal pain perception processing,” you understand how painful this condition can be. If you feel you’ve exhausted your efforts to find relief, you might want to look at ketamine therapy.

About 4 million adults in the United States feel widespread and unexplained pain in their bodies thanks to fibromyalgia. The discomfort that comes with this condition is not only widespread; people with fibromyalgia are also more sensitive to pain, making an already bad situation even worse. 

If you’re struggling to find a solution for managing your fibromyalgia so you can reclaim your life, the Commonwealth Pain & Spine team wants to take this opportunity to introduce you to ketamine therapy.

A difficult target

Treating fibromyalgia (or fibro) can be incredibly difficult and frustrating since you’re not dealing with a readily identifiable cause-and-effect issue, such as when you burn your finger, your finger hurts, but the pain goes away when the burn heals, for example.

Instead, fibro is a chronic disorder that leads to widespread body pain and a heightened sensitivity to pain, despite a lack of injury or damage. In other words, there’s no simple injury to treat, leaving medical providers to figure out the best ways to manage the side effects of fibromyalgia, which extend beyond pain and include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleep issues
  • Gastrointestinal upset

In addition to physical health problems, fibro can impact mental health and lead to problems with depression and/or anxiety.

A solution in ketamine

If you’re reading this, the odds are good that you’ve exhausted your options for managing your fibro symptoms. 

Strong opioid-based medications may work for a time, but you can build tolerance, and you’re not keen on the risks for addiction. You’ve tried lifestyle changes such as stress reduction, and they help to some extent, but nearly enough.

If this all sounds familiar, now might be the time to explore ketamine. This drug was first used in the 1950s as a battlefield anesthetic, and it has found a place in the medical field as a powerful pain killer.

In recent decades, however, medical researchers have recognized that ketamine’s effect on brain chemistry is much more complex and includes longer-term mood regulation and pain management benefits.

Ketamine combats pain in several ways. First, it activates opioid receptors in your brain to reduce pain sensation. Second, it’s an antagonist to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in your brain, which tend to excite the brain. By blocking NMDA receptors, your brain is more relaxed, allowing it to be less sensitive to pain messaging and processing.

Also, ketamine combats long-term pain conditions like fibromyalgia by creating new neural pathways in your brain that don’t follow familiar pain pathways.  

As a bonus, the FDA has approved ketamine to address depression, which is common among people with fibro.

At our practice, we deliver the ketamine intravenously in a controlled environment. You might need several infusions for long-term pain and mood management, but you should also feel the effects after one treatment.

If you want to explore whether ketamine therapy may be the answer you’ve been waiting for to tackle your fibromyalgia, you can make an appointment with us at a location near you. We have offices in St. Matthews, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Crestview Hills, Owensboro, and London, Kentucky. We also serve patients in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio.