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Can Ketamine Help My Fibromyalgia?

Mar 02, 2022

About 4 million American adults suffer from fibromyalgia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with women developing the condition more often than men. It’s a chronic pain condition for which there’s often no known reason. 

Emerging from the Vietnam war in the 1970s as a new field medicine, ketamine proved to be an effective systemic anesthetic that doesn’t affect heart rate or respiration, as many other drugs do. Ketamine has proven to have antidepressant properties, too. 

With these properties in mind, ketamine may be able to help your fibromyalgia pain, particularly when other treatments aren’t producing significant results. Florida Pain Management Institute is a fibromyalgia specialty practice in Delray Beach, and the team is ready to help you find the best solution for this sometimes hard-to-treat condition. 

Causes and symptoms of fibromyalgia

Current research suggests that people with fibromyalgia process pain signals in different ways than the rest of the population. Chemicals associated with pain in the brain reach abnormal levels, and pain receptors in the brain develop memories and sensitization to past pain, causing overreactions to both painful and nonpainful sensations. 

Fibromyalgia can begin after infectious illnesses, physical trauma, or extended periods of stress. Other times, pain develops gradually, and there’s no defined starting point. The condition is thought to have a genetic connection, since fibromyalgia may run in families. 

The pain that typically accompanies fibromyalgia is a constant, widespread ache for many patients, affecting both sides of the body, above and below the waist. It’s also long-term, lasting three months or more before being diagnosed as fibromyalgia. 

Fatigue and sleep disorders are common, despite long periods of sleep. The pain occurring with the condition is often sufficient to disrupt sleep, and fibromyalgia patients often have other sleep disorders. 

Fibro fog refers to cognitive symptoms like lack of concentration or focus that often accompany the other common signs of the condition. As with any chronic pain condition, fibromyalgia may also cause anxiety and depression. 

Ketamine and fibromyalgia

Since the causes of fibromyalgia suggest irregular nerve activity, ketamine’s effects on pain signals are a potentially good match for treatment. Typically administered as part of an intravenous infusion, low-dose ketamine is strong enough to tackle pain symptoms. It can create a relaxing, sedative effect, and we recommend that you arrange a ride to and from your session. Post-treatment fatigue is common and is one of the few side effects that ketamine creates. 

Ketamine offers your brain a reset from pain by blocking pain receptors, ideally relieving the hypersensitivity thought to contribute to fibromyalgia. It also reduces activity in portions of your brain that remain active when you’re resting or daydreaming. This may be where the anti-depressant effects of ketamine treatments occur. 

Careful use of ketamine for treatment of fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions is both safe and effective for many patients. It’s important to know that you have options for fibromyalgia treatment, so call or message us to book an appointment with Florida Pain Management Institute if you’re unhappy with your current treatment plan. Your ideal solution may be around the corner, so make an appointment today.