Chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are two conditions that can seriously impact a person’s life. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for more than three months, while PTSD is a mental health condition that can occur after someone has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, which leaves a deep, emotional, and psychological wound that impairs everyday life.
Both of these conditions can be very difficult to deal with, and in some cases, they can be quite debilitating. However, treatments are available for both chronic pain and PTSD that can help people manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
One such treatment is ketamine therapy. Ketamine is a groundbreaking medication that has been shown to be effective in treating both chronic pain and PTSD.
In this article, we will take a closer look at chronic pain and PTSD, and then we will discuss how ketamine therapy can help people escape the pitfalls of these conditions.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is a persistent type of pain that can last for months or even years. It can be caused by various conditions, which we will address below. Suffering from chronic pain is actually quite common, affecting 11.2% of adults in the U.S.
The pain itself can range from mild to severe, and it can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life.
The symptoms of chronic pain can vary depending on the underlying cause. However, common symptoms include constant pain, muscle stiffness, and fatigue.
Chronic pain can make it difficult to perform everyday activities, such as going to work or carrying out chores at home.
Common Causes of Chronic Pain
Many different conditions can cause chronic pain. Some of the most common causes include:
Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, injury, and genetics.
Cancer: Cancer can cause chronic pain due to the tumor pressing on nearby tissues or organs. Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can also cause pain.
Nerve damage: Nerve damage can occur due to illness, injury, or surgery. It can lead to pain, numbness, and tingling in the affected area.
Injuries: Injuries, such as sprains and fractures, can often cause chronic pain.
Conditions: Several other conditions can cause chronic pain, including fibromyalgia, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
How Is Chronic Pain Diagnosed?
Chronic pain is often diagnosed based on the symptoms a person is experiencing.
A doctor will typically ask about the nature of the pain, how long it has occurred, and what activities make it worse or better. Imaging tests, such as x-rays or MRIs, may also be ordered to rule out other potential causes of the pain.
How Is Chronic Pain Treated?
There are a number of different treatment options available for chronic pain. Treatment typically depends on the underlying cause of the pain.
Common treatments for chronic pain include medication, physical therapy, and surgery.
In some cases, a person may also need to make lifestyle changes to manage their pain. This may include changing their diet, getting more exercise, or quitting smoking.
What Is PTSD?
The American Psychiatric Association defines PTSD as a “psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.”
In the United States alone, the prevalence of PTSD has been found to be as high as 8.7% among people.
PTSD can cause a wide range of symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, isolation, and difficulty sleeping. It can also lead to problems with relationships, work, and school.
Common Causes of PTSD
PTSD can be caused by any event that is traumatic or life-threatening. Some of the most common causes include:
Combat: Combat is a major cause of PTSD. It can occur in people who have served in the military as well as in civilians who have been exposed to war zones.
Violent personal assault: Violent personal assault, such as rape or robbery, can often lead to PTSD.
Natural disasters: Natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, can also cause PTSD.
Car accidents: Car accidents are another common cause of PTSD.
Childhood abuse: Childhood abuse, such as physical or sexual abuse, can also lead to PTSD.
How Is PTSD Diagnosed?
PTSD can be diagnosed by a doctor or mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or licensed, accredited counselor. A doctor will ask about the nature and severity of the symptoms, when they began, and how they have affected the person’s life.
There is no single test to diagnose PTSD, but many questionnaires can be used to help assess whether someone has the disorder.
How Is PTSD Treated?
There are a variety of treatment options available for PTSD. Treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms and what works best for the individual’s unique circumstances.
Treatments such as medication, therapy, and self-help groups are often recommended for those suffering from this condition. Other helpful methods for easing PTSD symptoms include avoiding triggers, getting more exercise, and practicing relaxation techniques — such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.
Ketamine Therapy for Chronic Pain and PTSD
Ketamine is a medication that is typically used as an anesthetic. However, it has also been shown to effectively treat chronic pain and PTSD.
Ketamine works by blocking NMDA receptors. These receptors are involved in the experience of pain and stress. By blocking them, ketamine can help to reduce the symptoms of chronic pain and PTSD symptoms.
A number of studies have shown that ketamine therapy can be an effective treatment for chronic pain and PTSD. Regarding chronic pain, in one study from the National Library of Medicine, ketamine therapy was reported to “improve pain symptoms, patient satisfaction, and quality of life.”
In another study for the efficacy of ketamine in treating PTSD, ketamine therapy was shown to be an incredibly powerful tool in reducing or eliminating PTSD symptoms.
Ketamine therapy is a safe and effective treatment for chronic pain and PTSD. If you are struggling with these conditions, please take a moment to reach out to NeuroRelief.
Our renowned team of physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other specialists will help by working with you in setting up a tailored treatment plan for your needs. Click the link below to learn more about NeuroRelief and how we can get you back on track to living a healthy, happy life!