Ketamine for CRPS

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a multi-faceted and often misunderstood chronic pain condition that can significantly impact the lives of those affected.

Ketamine for CRPS

Ketamine for CRPS is a newer form of treatment that can offer rapid relief without the side effects and abuse potential of traditional pharmaceuticals.

What is CRPS?

CRPS is characterized by intense pain, usually in one arm or leg, although it can spread to other extremities. It is often triggered by an injury, such as a fracture or deep cut.

What is CRPS?

It can develop after a surgery or cardiac event. Pain persists after the original injury should have healed and manifests to a much greater degree than the original trauma.

2 Subcategories of CRPS

- CRPS Type I was previously known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). This type presents without any indication of nerve damage and accounts for a majority of CRPS cases.

2 Subcategories of CRPS

- CRPS Type II is also called “causalgia.” This is a much rarer form of CRPS that involves evident nerve damage in the injured limb.

Symptoms of CRPS

The symptoms of CRPS are varied, but the most common include: pain, discoloration, swelling, and temperature changes

How is CRPS Usually Treated

Because the pain felt by the patient is objectively out of proportion to what a doctor physically observes, CRPS was once thought to be largely psychological.

How is CRPS Usually Treated

Continued research has demonstrated that it is not, in fact, a mental health disorder (although chronic pain can certainly have mental health repercussions).

How is CRPS Usually Treated

CRPS manifests as a combination of physiological responses, including inflammation, hypersensitivity, circulatory issues, and poor brain response to pain signals.

How is CRPS Usually Treated

Treatment for CRPS depends on the type and severity of symptoms. It often involves several modalities to address the multi-faceted nature of the syndrome.

Medications

A wide range of pharmaceuticals may be used to treat CRPS. These are not limited to analgesics. Anticonvulsants, like gabapentin, may also be helpful for nerve pain. 

Therapy

Various therapeutic techniques have been employed, some in an attempt to try to retrain the brain’s interpretation of pain signals.

Therapy

Mirror box therapy, for example, reflects the unaffected limb so it appears to the patient that they are moving the injured one without pain.

Therapy

Physical therapy may also be prescribed, with emphasis on mobility and weight bearing on the affected limb.

Surgery

In extreme cases, surgery may be recommended to prevent physiological deterioration and improve quality of life.

Surgery

Spinal cord stimulators, for example, are implants that have been approved by the FDA for CRPS

Surgery

A sympathectomy is another surgical procedure that may be employed, but only as a last resort. 

Ketamine for CRPS

Ketamine continues to demonstrate efficacy in a wide array of both mental and physiological conditions, including CRPS.

Ketamine for CRPS

 A 2021 study found that low dose ketamine significantly reduced CRPS patients’ pain scores, with effects lasting for up to four weeks in half of the test subjects.

Ketamine for CRPS

 Systematic reviews of individual studies also continue to support the use of ketamine for treatment-resistant CRPS.

Benefits of Ketamine for CRPS

Not only can ketamine treat symptoms of refractory CRPS,  it does so with potentially fewer risks and side effects than associated with some traditional therapies.

Benefits of Ketamine

For example, low dose ketamine has a lower addiction potential and patients do not experience the often-severe gastrointestinal side effects associated with drugs like opioids.

Benefits of Ketamine

You also do not need to taper ketamine as you would with long-term use of opioids, antidepressants, neuropathic agents, and other medications traditionally used to treat CRPS. 

Benefits of Ketamine

Ketamine can have the added benefit of alleviating mental health concerns that have arisen as a result of living with chronic pain.

Benefits of Ketamine

Thorough research and clinical evidence supports the use of ketamine for treatment resistant depression and acute suicidal ideation. 

Ketamine for CRPS in Florida

The Crane Center in Destin, Florida offers ketamine assisted psychotherapy as one of our many treatment modalities.

Ketamine for CRPS in Florida

We understand the frustration and despair that often accompany chronic pain and will work with you to find long term relief.

Ketamine for CRPS in Florida

If you have been suffering with CRPS or a treatment-resistant mental health disorder, please call our office or go online to schedule a consultation.