Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), more commonly known as chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS), is a chronic pain condition characterized by burning pain, skin changes, and increased sensitivity to touch. RSD typically affects one limb, often the arm or leg. In some cases, the pain can spread to other parts of the body.
Causes of RSD
The exact cause of RSD is unknown, but it is thought to be the result of damage to the nervous system. This can happen after an injury, surgery, or even minor trauma. In some cases, there is no apparent trigger for the condition.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic medication that has been used for decades to maintain or induce anesthesia during surgery or other invasive procedures. In recent years, however, it has also been utilized as an off-label treatment for various psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Additionally, ketamine has also gained a reputation as an effective treatment for chronic pain conditions, especially those that have not responded to other forms of treatment. Ketamine works best for pain with a neuropathic component like RSD.
Ketamine for chronic pain management and psychiatric treatment is administered in low doses through an IV line – in what has come to be known as ketamine infusion therapy.
How Does Ketamine Work?
It is not entirely clear how ketamine works to relieve pain. It’s believed that ketamine may work by interrupting pain signals between the brain and the nervous system. This is achieved through its unique ability to target and modulate the activity of brain receptors involved in pain signaling.
Ketamine has also been shown to promote the repair and growth of new nerve cells in the brain, which can help reverse central sensitization which is a common feature of chronic pain conditions. Additionally, it is thought to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may also contribute to its pain-relieving effects.
Unlike other medications that only provide relief as long as you keep taking them, ketamine’s analgesic effects can last up to three months or longer, making it more suited for the treatment of chronic pain.
What Are The Side Effects Of Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
Ketamine is a safe and well-tolerated medication – with little to no side effects. The most common side effects of ketamine infusion therapy include lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. These side effects are usually mild and resolve within a few hours after the infusion.
Please note that if used in high doses or without medical supervision, ketamine can cause severe side effects. For this reason, ketamine should only be administered by a qualified medical professional in a controlled clinical setting.
If you suffer from reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) and traditional treatments have failed to provide relief from your symptoms, you may want to consider ketamine infusion therapy. Several studies have shown that ketamine can provide significant and long-lasting relief from chronic pain, especially neuropathic pain like RSD. While there are some potential side effects associated with this type of therapy, they are usually mild and short-lived.