IV Ketamine and NAD for Chronic Pain: Treating the Source
Dr. Kaveh’s holistic chronic pain treatment addresses the root causes of pain, including both physical and psychological. The sources of pain include:
- Neurogenic pain: “shooting pains” or “electric shock” sensations throughout the face, arms, legs, torso, or pelvic region. This is due to irritated or damaged nerves and is often felt as sharp, stabbing, or burning, but can be felt in multiple different ways.
- Somatic pain: pain in skin, muscles, joints, or bones due to injuries or tissue damage. Like nerve pain above, somatic pain can also be sharp, stabbing, gnawing, burning, or dull.
- Psychological pain: untreated depression, anxiety, or past traumas, including painful emotions and memories (bereavement, separation, loneliness, etc.), can amplify, or even cause, neurogenic or somatic pain perceptions. It does not mean the pain is fake, but that it is exacerbated by a brain and spinal cord working on “overdrive.” Any painful condition, including fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), may be exacerbated by psychological pain or untreated depression, anxiety, or past trauma.
- Secondary pain: neurogenic or somatic pain from medical conditions, such as endometriosis, ulcers, cancer, autoimmune disease, etc.
- Medications and substances: opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and other chemicals can increase our sensitivity to pain. This can lead to non-painful stimuli triggering serious pain in our bodies.
Undertreated pain from any of these sources can have serious health consequences and pain absolutely requires thoughtful and compassionate treatment.
IV Ketamine and NAD Rebalance Painful Neurochemicals
Chronic pain becomes debilitating from repeated experiences of pain throughout the body. This forms a “pain feedback loop” that makes the brain and spinal cord more sensitive to pain when the pain is not buffered. Buffering pain not only helps reduce the painful sensations but can also prevent the brain and spinal cord from becoming sensitized.
Many neurochemicals are involved in the transmission of painful signals, including glutamate. Ketamine directly affects glutamate and the NMDA receptor to change pain transmission and help “re-wire” painful nerve connections throughout the brain and spinal cord (called synaptogenesis).
NAD works together with Ketamine to further enhance the pain-relieving effects at the NMDA reception.
NAD and IV Ketamine also Treat Co-Existing Depression, Anxiety, and Trauma
Depression and anxiety often occur with chronic pain. It may be a “chicken and egg” problem because chronic pain can cause depression and anxiety, but chronic pain can also be worsened by depression and anxiety. This is especially true in chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis.
This tight linkage between pain, depression, anxiety, and trauma means that treating any one of these connections requires also treating other co-existing conditions. Ketamine and NAD can not only address the neurochemical imbalances (and here) in these conditions but also soften the cognitive rigidity that exacerbates these conditions.
Opioid Epidemic Tragedy Shows Importance of Holistic Chronic Pain Treatment
The opioid epidemic has demonstrated the risks of treating chronic pain from a “pill pushing” approach. While opioid medications can have a role in chronic pain treatment, they should be used holistically to minimize risks and side effects.
Ketamine and NAD are powerful treatments for chronic pain that can reduce the need for, and risks of, opioid pain medications. This helps better treat the underlying causes of chronic pain and reduce the associated risks of “undertreated” or “overtreated” pain, including cognitive deficits or mind-fog.
Ketamine for Cognitive Flexibility: Living Better Despite Pain
The cycles of pain throughout the spinal cord and brain are exhausting to the mind and body. These loops can also worsen depression and anxiety by increasing our cognitive rigidity as we “harden” our judgments of ourselves and others.
Ketamine therapy, especially with compassionate inquiry, can break this rigid behavioral cycle. Ketamine can “soften” the loops that our neurons are “stuck” in by forming new neural connections, a process called neuroplasticity. This “re-wiring” of the brain and spinal cord is a key part of healing from chronic pain both physically and psychologically.
Treating Chronic Pain with IV Ketamine Therapy: What to Expect
Dr. Kaveh’s holistic approach to treating the root causes of chronic pain includes the following 3 steps:
- Preparation: Consultation with Dr. Kaveh to prime your mind to find the greatest healing from your Ketamine and NAD experience.
- IV Ketamine Infusions: Experience rapid healing in our peaceful and comfortable clinic under the direct guidance of expert Clarus physicians: Dr. Kaveh and Dr. Shrestha.
- Integration: Apply the insights gained from the Ketamine experience to your daily life. Without this invaluable step, the positive experiences may “fade away” without integrating into your psyche for sustained healing.
Contact Clarus with any questions about how IV Ketamine therapy can help treat the root causes of your depression.