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Ketamine for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): What to Expect

Jul 01, 2023

Chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a painful condition that can develop from an injury or physically traumatic event, such as a heart attack or stroke. While not a common medical problem, CRPS symptoms can be debilitating, affecting your physical and emotional wellness.

Our team at Florida Pain Management Institute in Delray Beach and Boynton Beach, Florida, specializes in helping women and men manage long-term pain and relieve their CRPS symptoms using a customized, patient-centered approach for optimal results. In this post, learn how ketamine can help reduce CRPS symptoms even when other treatment options have failed.

CRPS: The basics

Previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) and causalgia, CRPS occurs from soft tissue damage or nerve injury. Prior surgery, burns, medical events (like strokes), broken bones, and even periods of immobility can all lead to CRPS in some people.

CRPS symptoms usually occur in the limbs and can include:

  • Constant or recurring pain
  • Burning sensations
  • Reduced range of movement
  • Joint stiffness or swelling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle spasms or cramping
  • Sensitivity to changes in temperature
  • Changes in skin color, texture, or temperature
  • Changes in hair or nail growth

CRPS symptoms can vary in intensity, and you can experience one or a combination of several symptoms.

Researchers don’t understand how or why CRPS happens or why it occurs in some people but not others. Not surprisingly, these issues make treatment difficult in many cases. 

Ketamine for CRPS

Once your provider diagnoses CRPS, the next step is finding a treatment that provides relief. Initially, your provider may prescribe medication to relieve pain and inflammation, antidepressant medicines, or medicines to quell muscle spasms or tremors. Corticosteroid injections may also be helpful.

If these therapies aren’t effective, ketamine therapy could be a good option. Research shows ketamine infusions are very effective in helping patients with CRPS find relief for their painful symptoms.

Historically used as an anesthetic, in recent years, ketamine worked successfully as a therapy for several medical issues, including managing treatment-resistant depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and treating chronic pain. 

Ketamine works by blocking nerve receptors involved in pain perception and modulation. During infusion therapy, we administer ketamine intravenously, allowing it to reach those nerve receptors quickly and directly. You can repeat Infusions as needed to keep painful symptoms at bay.

Learn more about ketamine therapy

Ketamine therapy usually is prescribed after other pain management methods have failed. To learn if ketamine is a good choice for helping you manage your CRPS symptoms, call 561-331-5050 or request an appointment online today with the Florida Pain Management Institute team.