Patients with fibromyalgia and their loved ones know it is a debilitating condition typified by widespread pain, sleep problems, mental health issues, fatigue, and headaches. Almost 4 million American adults are affected by this disease, but sadly, its causes are poorly understood, making treatment challenging.
But there’s hope. Intravenous ketamine infusions have offered patients and medical professionals a new pain management alternative by significantly attenuating fibromyalgia symptoms. Moreover, in instances where the traditional fibromyalgia treatment has failed, ketamine has proven highly effective in reducing symptom severity and, in many cases, alleviating symptoms altogether!
For those who are unfamiliar with ketamine, opting to go for this new treatment regimen can be daunting. That’s why Virginia Infusion Therapies has compiled everything you need to know about how ketamine can help you overcome your battle with fibromyalgia!
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder characterized by persistent pain that lasts for months. Patients with fibromyalgia have increased pain sensitivity, difficulty concentrating, and impaired sleeping patterns.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
The precise causes of fibromyalgia are not fully understood, but researchers suspect malfunctioning pain pathways in the central nervous system cause heightened sensitivity to stimuli. The process whereby sensitivity to external stimuli is increased is known as central sensitization.
Some possible risk factors for fibromyalgia include:
- Nervous system chemical imbalances
- Physical trauma
What Are Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
Fibromyalgia patients experience a wide range of both physical and emotional symptoms.
Physically, the effects of disproportionate pain signals traveling throughout the brain and spinal cord lead to severe referred pain throughout the rest of the body. Sleep problems, intense muscle tension, vision problems, and tingling sensations in the body’s extremities can also occur.
Outside of chronic pain, patients can have trouble concentrating and experience mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
How Do Doctors Treat Fibromyalgia Pain and Other Physical Symptoms?
Medical professionals traditionally rely on a diverse range of fibromyalgia medications. Tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can promote sleep and reduce pain in patients with fibromyalgia.
Other medications, such as muscle relaxants or pain relievers, can also help control pain and muscle spasms.
It is imperative to note that fibromyalgia medications can cause unwanted side effects such as liver damage, high blood pressure, weight gain, and a dry mouth.
Outside of pain medicine and other drugs, a healthy lifestyle improves sleep and reduces fibromyalgia pain. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can be supplemented with relaxation techniques, such as those found in tai chi, to aid in stress management, thereby reducing symptom severity. In addition, massage therapy can sometimes help patients struggling with pain and discomfort.
What Is Ketamine?
Ketamine has traditionally been used as a form of general anesthesia, but in recent years, it has been lauded as an off-label miracle drug for various conditions, including treatment-resistant depression.
Ketamine reduces muscle pain by regulating the activity of NMDA receptors, which are responsible for transmitting pain signals throughout the body.
Ketamine is an increasingly popular choice to treat fibromyalgia since it avoids many pitfalls of other drugs, such as weight gain and a dry mouth. Additionally, ketamine achieves pain relief without the dangers of dependency and substance abuse associated with intravenous morphine.
Ketamine Treatment for Fibromyalgia
When ketamine is used to treat fibromyalgia, low doses are administered intravenously over a few weeks. Clinical studies have shown that low-dose ketamine infusions can significantly reduce pain, improve mood and sleep, and increase physical function in fibromyalgia patients.
Ketamine's Role in Neuroplasticity
Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain to change and reorganize its structure and function in response to experience or injury. In contrast, synaptic plasticity refers to changes in the strength of connections between neurons, which are thought to underlie learning and memory.
In the context of fibromyalgia and chronic pain, some researchers believe that neuroplasticity and synaptic plasticity changes may contribute to the development and maintenance of pain.
Studies have shown that ketamine can produce neuroplasticity and synaptic plasticity changes that reduce pain perception and improve mood. Specifically, ketamine increases the release of signaling molecules that promote the growth of new neural connections, leading to improved function and pain relief.
The exact mechanisms by which ketamine produces these effects are not well understood. More research is needed to fully understand how neuroplasticity and synaptic plasticity relate to ketamine treatment and fibromyalgia. However, these findings suggest that ketamine may be a promising treatment option for fibromyalgia, as it has the potential to reverse the changes in neuroplasticity that contribute to chronic pain. Many researchers predict that following the conclusion of some clinical trials, ketamine will become an FDA-approved treatment route!
Am I a Suitable Candidate for Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
Ketamine administered in clinical practice is considered highly safe and has been used to treat numerous medical conditions, including fibromyalgia.
Ketamine’s effect on fibromyalgia syndrome has been studied extensively, and the results are clear — ketamine infusion therapy can provide meaningful pain relief and improvement in other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Pain analysis and other evaluations will be used to monitor your progress and ensure you receive maximum benefits from your treatment!
Overcome Chronic Pain Disorders at Virginia Infusion Therapies!
Ketamine is a highly effective treatment option for fibromyalgia, with numerous studies and real-world results demonstrating its power in managing pain and other symptoms. Whether it’s through reversing changes in neuroplasticity or through other mechanisms, ketamine has been shown time and time again to provide relief to those struggling with fibromyalgia!
Our team at Virginia’s premier ketamine infusion clinic in Leesburg, VA, is available to answer any questions and help you create a personalized treatment plan. Send us a message through our contact us page or call us at (571) 371-0290 to connect with our friendly staff and learn more about ketamine infusion therapies and their benefits for your health. If you’re ready for a one-on-one consultation, our office at 19490 Sandridge Way Suite 240, Lansdowne, Virginia 20176, proudly serves Loudoun County and the Ashburn area, so come and let our experts create the best treatment plan for you. We also invite you to keep up with our blog and social media to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about ketamine infusion therapies!