The trouble with pain is we either take it for granted, or wait until it becomes unbearable and affects everything we do – holding down a personal or professional relationship or finishing everyday tasks – can be challenging. Help is available. Ask us about ketamine infusion therapy.
DESCRIBING CHRONIC PAIN IN HUMAN TERMS
Sometimes our ability to comprehend pain – chronic or otherwise – is a matter of connecting with others suffering the same fate. The human ability to network for support can go a long way toward surviving the challenge. Here are quotes from others who have suffered from the condition.
“Behind every chronic illness is just a person trying to find their way in the world. We want to find love and be loved and be happy just like you. We want to be successful and do something that matters. We’re just dealing with unwanted limitations in our hero’s journey.” – Glenn Schweitzer
“Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” – Mary Tyler Moore
“There are those who suffer and grow strong; there are those who suffer and grow weak. This mystery of pain is still for me the saddest of earth’s disabilities.” – Silas Weir Mitchell
GENDER AND PAIN
The line “You can’t handle the truth!” from the movie A Few Good Men encapsulates what science and medicine know about gender and pain. Men will not agree, either.
It is widely accepted that men and women react to pain differently. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a report, Relieving Pain in America, in which women regularly report a higher incidence of chronic pain than males and have a bigger risk for numerous pain conditions. Women are prone to experience more pain from certain ailments like cancer. Further, many chronic pain disorders happen only in women while others occur most often in men. These include endometriosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, and temporomandibular disorders.
The IOM report offers three theories about the disparities in pain experience between genders:
A gender-role theory says it is more socially suitable for females to report pain
An exposure theory suggesting women are subjected to more pain risk influences
A vulnerability theory suggesting that women have more vulnerability to developing certain kinds of pain, like musculoskeletal pain.
Of these, vulnerability theory receives the most scientific evidence. Ultimately, we need a better understanding of pain perception between genders to manage it successfully.
THE EFFECTS OF CHRONIC PAIN OVER THE LONG HAUL
Pain eventually crosses the median and drives head-first into the chronic pain interstate when it seems to go on without end. People with chronic pain and or hopelessness may have one or more of the following:
Loss of sexual yearning
Worry of injury
Social isolation (less yearning to partake in social situations)
Employment issues (loss of job)
Changes in weight
KETAMINE FOR CHRONIC PAIN
Chronic pain which is constant and often unexplainable hurts millions of people. About 200,000 people in the United States report cases of chronic pain every year. Quite frequently, the pain is noticeable in the back, joints, face, or mouth, and is typified by anxiety, fatigue, and trouble sleeping. But how can it be treated when the cause is unknown? Some doctors have started using ketamine, formerly used as a battlefield anesthetic, to control the symptoms.
One study in Anesthesia & Analgesia recommended using ketamine on chronic pain and advocated more research to confirm its efficacy.
CHRONIC PAIN AND DEPRESSION
Chronic pain and depression are symbiotic. Depression can result in pain — which can power depression. Both propel a dreadful cycle, a perpetual state of motion between emotional and physical agony. Pain can make depression worse, and depression can worsen symptoms of chronic pain.
Depression can be the result of unexplained physical symptoms, but these could be the only signs you will see. Pain and its troubles can wear you down over time and change moods.
HOW TO TREAT CHRONIC PAIN?
Drugs like ketamine, now used as something besides an anesthetic, work to repair neurotransmitters in the brain, and have been shown to relieve symptoms of chronic pain and make the experience manageable. If you or a loved one are experiencing the symptoms of chronic pain we can help. Contact us today to learn more about the clinical use of ketamine.