Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Not Just for Athletes

If you’ve been keeping up with the world of sports you may know about hyperbaric oxygen therapy and the athletes who use it to recover from injury and strain. As a non-invasive treatment option, it is ideal for athletes who can’t afford any downtime and have to get back on the field (or court, or pitch) as soon as possible. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, is used to help regenerate and heal human tissue, in addition to the many other benefits it offers. However, almost anyone can use HBOT to improve their standard of living.

HBOT works by sealing the patient in a chamber with near 100% oxygen pumped in at higher pressure relative to atmospheric pressure (typically defined as air pressure at sea level). By enabling the increased levels of oxygen to circulate in your blood at high pressure, you breathe and absorb a far greater amount of oxygen than normal, allowing it to reach more of your body, such as your fluids, tissues, and bones. By providing your body with an extra boost of pure oxygen, your body’s healing ability is stimulated, which promotes the growth of tissue and blood vessels while it reduces inflammation. HBOT has been known to help concussion victims by providing extra oxygen into the brain tissue, which promotes regeneration and reduces swelling. Given that anyone who takes part in sports can be at risk of concussion, HBOT is an important tool in the recovery toolkit for anyone, not just the pros. Patients with chronic fatigue, poor circulation, peripheral neuropathy, and edemas can all stand to benefit from the benefits of HBOT.

Because this therapy only involves breathing in oxygen, there is very little risk of side effects other than potential discomfort from inhaling a greater concentration of oxygen than is commonly found in the air we normally breathe as well as adapting to the increase in pressure. However, these are all temporary side effects that subside after leaving the chamber.

The benefits of HBOT are broad and the conditions it can help are diverse, meaning you don’t have to be a pro athlete to enjoy a better life with little-to-no recovery time and side effects. You also don’t need to travel to special clinics to find one with a hyperbaric chamber. Your local clinic at Progressive Rehabilitation Medicine in Cedar Rapids offers HBOT and is more than happy to help you learn more about this non-invasive treatment. Book an appointment with our skilled physicians so we can help you decide if hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the right course of treatment for you.