Roughly 4 million American adults — about 2% of the adult population — suffer from fibromyalgia, a chronic, painful condition that’s associated with both physical and emotional symptoms. Because it’s a chronic condition, fibromyalgia typically requires ongoing management to relieve symptoms and keep the condition under control. For some people, that can mean years of increasingly higher doses of pain medication.
At Scottsdale Ketamine Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, Ethan Philpott, MD, and his team offer patient-centered ketamine infusions to help men and women manage their fibromyalgia symptoms. If you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, here’s how a managed program of ketamine infusion therapy could help you find relief.
The ABCs of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that happens when the central nervous system distorts signals from “touch” receptors, amplifying sensations so that even a mild touch can feel painful. Researchers haven’t identified the underlying cause of fibromyalgia, but they do know it’s more likely to be triggered by a traumatic injury or illness. Fibromyalgia is also more common among:
- Older people
- People with autoimmune disorders, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- People who are obese
Widespread pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia, but there are other symptoms, too, including:
- Problems sleeping
- Persistent fatigue
- Painful spots or “focal points” throughout the body
- Problems with concentration and memory (“brain fog”)
- Headaches, including migraines
Some people with fibromyalgia also have digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or belly pain. Not surprisingly, these symptoms can take a toll on your emotional health as well, leading to elevated levels of anxiety and an increased risk of depression.
Furthermore, fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose. In fact, its symptoms are often attributed to other medical causes. On top of that, because of the nature of the condition, it can be difficult to manage.
Ketamine therapy for fibromyalgia
Historically, fibromyalgia treatment has focused on the long-term use of medications for pain (and sometimes depression), physical therapy, and psychological counseling. In more recent years, ketamine therapy has emerged as a promising treatment for people with fibromyalgia, including people who haven’t been helped by traditional therapies.
Ketamine is a medication that’s traditionally been used as an anesthetic. But more recently, researchers have found that ketamine can help treat several conditions involving the central nervous system and the brain, including post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, and fibromyalgia.
Ketamine works by blocking pain receptors in the brain to reduce the sensations of pain. Plus, it increases levels of a brain chemical called glutamate to help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression and also help manage pain.
Infusions deliver ketamine directly to the bloodstream without having to traverse the digestive system, as is the case with oral pain relievers. Many patients feel an improvement in their symptoms within the first 24 hours after treatment. Plus, infusions can be repeated to provide long-lasting relief based on your specific needs.
Relieving painful fibromyalgia symptoms
Without proper management, fibromyalgia can make even simple, everyday activities painful and unpleasant. Ketamine infusions can help block pain signals, so you can get back to enjoying your life again.
To learn more about ketamine infusions and how they could help you manage your fibromyalgia symptoms, book an appointment online or over the phone with Scottsdale Ketamine Clinic today.