Best of Southern Utah winner Desert Sands Ketamine helps chronic pain patients regain function, rediscover joy

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CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Millions of Americans living with chronic pain know all too well how exhausting and debilitating it can be. At Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center, Dr. Eric Evans provides hope and healing to patients struggling with pain disorders. 

Dr. Eric Evans and Shannon Evans, owners of Desert Sands Medical Clinics, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

Ketamine enables patients to participate in everyday life more comfortably while also regulating the emotional imbalances that often accompany pain disorders. Recognized as the very best ketamine provider in the community, Desert Sands Ketamine won gold in alternative therapies as well as silver in the behavioral/mental health treatment category in the 2021 Best of Southern Utah contest.

“Chronic pain robs people of the joy they deserve to experience in life,” Evans said. “As a physician, I can’t think of anything else that’s more important to focus on than relieving pain and suffering.” 

Chronic pain 

Many pain disorders are found beneath the umbrella of chronic pain. Some patients suffer from frequent headaches. Some experience pain as a result of nerve damage. Some have lower back pain from an injury that keeps their body hurting for weeks, months or even years. 

Chronic pain can occur in nearly any part of the body and presents itself differently depending on the patient, Evans said. It may feel sharp or dull, causing a burning or aching sensation. Pain can be steady or intermittent, coming and going without any apparent reason. 

Living with pain makes even the simplest tasks difficult. Persistent physical discomfort and loss of function can adversely affect a person’s overall sense of well-being. Evans said chronic pain strains finances and relationships and may lead to depression, anxiety and even suicidal behavior

Complex regional pain syndrome

Some people experience pain as a result of an illness, injury or surgery long after the body has healed. Complex regional pain syndrome is a malfunction of the nervous system that creates prolonged and excessive pain out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury. Even light touch, vibrations, pressure and changes in temperature may cause pain.  

Evans noted that although complex regional pain syndrome is extremely difficult to treat, ketamine helps many patients experience a better quality of life. In some cases, remission for up to a year is possible.

“Sometimes, a patient’s initial ketamine infusion is the first time they’ve been pain-free in a long time,” he said. “We’ve had many chronic pain patients be able to experience remission from their pain and get back to their lives with function restored.” 

Ketamine as a solution

Stock image | Photo by kieferpix/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

While ketamine has received much attention in recent years as a breakthrough treatment in mental health, Evans said the medical world is now discovering how beneficial it can be for treating pain disorders. Ketamine is a highly effective painkiller and a dissociative anesthetic. Because it’s administered via IV infusion, pain relief begins almost immediately.

Evans created Desert Sands Ketamine to offer a lifeline to people living with depression and other mental health disorders. However, patients struggling with chronic pain – many of whom tried countless other therapies but found little relief – have also experienced remarkable and even life-changing physical results as well as a lasting boost in mood. 

“Treating their mood disorder was a big part of helping them get their pain under control,” he said. “Ketamine has been amazing at helping people with both issues.”

The Desert Sands difference

Unlike many clinics offering infusion therapy, Desert Sands Ketamine is a physician-driven practice. Evans is a board-certified anesthesiologist with more than 25 years of experience administering ketamine in both surgical and clinical settings.

Evans said the community shouldn’t trust just any provider when it comes to ketamine therapy. Because patients are often taking multiple medications to manage their chronic pain and mood disorders when they come to the clinic, he personally meets with every individual to review their medical history and underlying health issues. Infusions are tailored to suit each patient’s needs for optimal results. 

Interior of the Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center, St. George News

“There’s definitely an art to giving ketamine,” he said. “We do it in a way that patients really tolerate well.”

Desert Sands offers a spa-like, comfortable healing environment with compassionate staff who are dedicated to helping patients achieve the best results possible. The patient experience always begins with a free consultation to discuss their issues and determine if ketamine is right for them.

Additionally, the clinic provides patients with resources to improve all aspects of their well-being, including dietary guidance, meditation, massage therapy, relationship counseling and talk therapy. 

“We try to use a complete approach to each patient,” Evans said. “Our goal is to help you get back to living a passionate, rewarding and productive life as quickly as possible.”

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, visit the Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center website or call 435-522-5190.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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