What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is the most common cause of widespread muscle and bone pain and is more frequent in women than men. It is commonly accompanied by fatigue, difficulty thinking, headaches, depression, anxiety, numbness, and tingling. It is considered a disorder of pain regulation in the central nervous system.
What causes fibromyalgia?
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. It is believed to be a dysfunction of the central nervous system that causes an increase in nerve signaling resulting in pain. There is no specific test for fibromyalgia and the diagnosis is usually made after all other causes for the pain are ruled out.
How is fibromyalgia treated?
Treatment for fibromyalgia includes exercise, psycho-behavioral therapy, and multiple types of medication. If you have not improved with conventional treatments, ketamine may be beneficial for you.
How does ketamine help with fibromyalgia?
Ketamine is an anesthetic drug, typically used to sedate people for surgery. The latest evidence supports the effectiveness of ketamine for chronic pain conditions when used at low doses, particularly those that are accompanied by depression or anxiety. Although the exact way ketamine works is unclear, it is believed that ketamine disrupts the ingrained nerve pathways that signal your brain to produce pain. It appears that ketamine can also assist in retraining your brain to stop stimulating these ingrained dysfunctional pathways. There is also good evidence that ketamine helps with depression and anxiety.
How many ketamine treatments do I need?
The number of treatments needed varies by person. For fibromyalgia, we recommend initially six treatments over three to six weeks. Not everyone improves with ketamine but those who do usually start to see improvement at the end of six treatments. Some may see improvement sooner and some may require more treatments to see an initial improvement. Patients who are willing to combine their ketamine treatments with psychotherapy and lifestyle changes are generally more successful.
How long do results last?
The length of time improvement lasts also varies. Most patients will need booster treatments every four weeks, some may not need boosters for much longer, while others may need boosters more frequently.
Does insurance pay for ketamine treatments?
Most insurances do not yet cover IV ketamine treatments for fibromyalgia. You can use your health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) to pay for your ketamine treatments. We also accept all major credit cards, PayPal, ApplePay. We can provide you with a claim to submit to your insurance to see if they will reimburse part or all of your treatments, but payment is due at the time of service.
How do I get started?
In order to provide the safest and most effective treatments for our patients, you must have a primary care provider with whom we can coordinate care. If you also have a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, we strongly recommend you be followed by a mental health professional. Fibromyalgia patients have significantly more success with ketamine infusions if they also undergo counseling.
Call or text today to speak with our patient coordinator to see if ketamine is right for you.