The World Health Organization estimates that chronic pain affects more than one billion people. If you’re one of them, don’t suffer – get help. With diagnosis and therapy, the worst pain symptoms can be managed. Ask your doctor about different forms of treatment and medicine suitable for you.
How is it Different from Acute Pain?
Acute pain appears suddenly due to a specific reason and then goes away fairly quickly. Chronic pain can be mild or severe but often lacks an obvious cause for six months or longer. Due to the severity of its symptoms, chronic pain can limit daily life to the point where it appears to be a disabling condition. Many of its symptoms – headaches, dull or sharp pain, burning sensations – are manageable with treatments like ketamine.
If you suffer from chronic pain but don’t know how it started, it may be difficult to square that fact with possible risk factors involved. But people with chronic pain normally are at risk based on:
- Age and growing old
- Having had surgery
- Being previously ill or injured
- Being female
- Being overweight
Chronic pain and mental illness are inextricably linked, with some believing they cause the other, but the fact they co-exist is indisputable.
Chronic Pain Conditions and Mental Health
We know that chronic pain and mental illness have a tenuous relationship at best. Each correlates with the other. They often coexist to the detriment of anyone suffering from discomfort. If you experience chronic pain, you may also suffer from:
- Arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, is inflammation of one or more joints, leading to disabling pain. Certain mood and anxiety disorders happen at higher rates among people with arthritis than those without the condition.
- Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic multi-symptom disease where the spinal cord and brain process pain signals differently. FM normally affects mental health, social interactions, energy, and overall health.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) is nerve damage that interrupts communication between the brain and your body. People with MS are about twice as likely to experience major depressive disorder over a year as those without it.
- Back and neck pain. Mental health conditions are more common among people with back or neck pain than among people without either.
- Chronic migraines persist 15 or more days each month and for three or more months in duration. If you suffer from chronic migraines, you may be at greater risk of major depressive disorder and various anxiety disorders.
The successful treatment of mental illness requires understanding the relationship between patients’ pain and symptoms. By understanding your pain and what has caused it, you’ll be in a better position to help your doctor come up with a treatment plan.
Preparing to See a Doctor
If you’re seeing a doctor about chronic pain, think about these questions:
- Have you experienced a recent accident, illness, heart attack, or infection or injury, like trauma to your body?
- Have you undergone surgery recently?
- When did you start noticing pain or burning?
- How long have your symptoms been going on?
- Is the pain continuous or occasional?
- Is there anything that makes your symptoms better or worse?
- Have you had similar symptoms after previous injuries?
Diagnosing chronic pain isn’t like going to a doctor’s office for an earache or sunburn. Because of your symptoms, your doctor will likely recommend a battery of tests and diagnostic procedures. Over one or more visits, you may have to undergo blood tests, X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, and other tests.
Treating chronic pain depends on many factors, including symptoms, your health, age, gender, and other factors. In many cases, a doctor or therapist may start with simple over-the-counter pain relievers, hot or cold patches, topical creams, or psychotherapy.
Soon after ketamine’s deployment to the battlefields of Vietnam in the 1970s, its curative properties beyond anesthesia became a hot research topic. Could the medicine repair and improve the brain’s capacity to perceive pain and transmit those perceptions throughout the body? While some still debate that answers and research continues, evidence to date shows that ketamine successfully reduces symptoms of chronic pain, post-surgical pain, mental illness, and many other conditions.
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 relieve 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 neurogenesis, in essence, rewrites the parts of your brain contributing to your symptoms.
Contact us today to learn more about this innovative new treatment option.