“I think of ketamine as a very effective pain medicine for a small number of patients: In general, patients who have been taking opioids for pain and found them to be ineffective,” Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, vice president of medical affairs for Palliative and Hospice Medicine at Ohio Health in Columbus, OH.
Ketamine For Chronic Pain
Medically-resistant chronic pain is difficult to live with. For many, chronic pain lowers quality of life and interferes with common every day events, resulting in a frustrating cycle of flaring pain that can feel hopeless. However, giving up does not have to be the ultimate decision — Ketamine infusions have been remarkably effective for many patients suffering from medically-resistant chronic pain.
Ketamine for chronic pain is administered through IV treatment. As an anesthesia, ketamine sedates and provides pain relief. For decades, ketamine has been used as a vital medical tool on the battlefield to help severely injured soldiers. Today, ketamine’s medical use exceeds past the battlefield and into everyday life such as in hospitals, therapy clinics, and treatment centers.
Combat Medic Tool of Choice in the Field
“In severely injured soldiers, like a double or even quadruple amputee, we use a large dose of ketamine to not only subdue the wounded and often distraught soldier in the field of fire, but to provide amnesia and pain relief. It also increases the soldier’s heart rate and blood pressure, which helps with blood loss. A ‘K-holed’ soldier is much easier to load and transfer away from danger.” – A Navy Seal medic who wishes to remain anonymous
Often, patients who experience chronic pain are struggling with separate conditions, issues, or lasting injuries that result in chronic pain. Migraines, CRPS, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, phantom pain, postherpetic neuralgia, sickle cell disease, spinal injury, and others are some examples of where chronic pain can originate from. Low-dose, reoccurring ketamine treatments have provided patients with chronic pain relief for years, and will continue to help patients for years to come.
How Much Does Ketamine Cost?
Here at Virginia Infusions Therapy Center, we strive to provide the best patient help at an affordable cost. However, we still recognize that ketamine infusions can be a financial stretch. This is why we offer the option to apply for reimbursement, which we provide documentation for. While most insurance companies do not cover ketamine infusions for chronic pain at this time, we are optimistic that as the scientific community continues to study the benefits of ketamine on chronic pain this will change in the future.
A four-hour ketamine infusions therapy session costs around $1,600. This includes a complimentary consultation where one of our highly experienced doctors will evaluate your pain, health, lifestyle, and other factors to determine a treatment that will work best for you.
The actual appointment will take place at our clinic in one of our comfortable, soothing, dimly-lit rooms where the infusion will be administered. You will be closely monitored during the infusion and after the infusion. One of our medical staff will also be available to help you with anything you may need during this time. Your comfort, health, and wellbeing are priority to us!
Most patients need 3 sessions to achieve optimal results. Depending on the level of pain and individual response, maintenance sessions can be scheduled every 1-3 months after the initial therapy set.
Will Ketamine For Pain Work For Me?
While like all medications and therapies, ketamine cannot be guaranteed as an end-all-be-all solution for chronic pain. However, 70% of patients report feeling improvements even after a single infusion. While the exact results of the therapy depend on the type of pain, the severity of the pain, and various other factors, 2/3rd of patients who undergo ketamine treatments report experiencing meaningful relief.
Depending on the type and severity of pain, relief may be instantaneous with treatment, may last many months, or may require multiple treatments for relief or relief maintenance. To better understand what type of relief you can expect, we’d love to schedule a free consultation to discuss ketamine treatments with you.
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