In the past decade, sports have become more competitive. Many of us and our children are involved in some type of sport. With increased intensity, there is an increased risk of injury. One adjunct treatment option is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy,HBOT, for sports injuries.
What Is HBOT?
HBOT is a medical treatment where the patient or athlete is placed into a large clear acrylic chamber and breathes 100% oxygen at pressures higher than normal atmospheric pressure. The air that we normally breathe consists of only 21% oxygen.
Recovering athletes are usually required to be in the chamber for between 90 – 120 minutes once or twice per day depending on their specific needs which will be assessed by the HBOT physician.
How Does It Work?
As a result of any injury the body will experience hypoxia (decreased oxygen) and inflammation around that injury. When breathing 100% oxygen in a pressurized chamber, you enable the oxygen to dissolve into all the bodily fluids including plasma (in some cases, plasma oxygen content has been shown to be up to 10 times higher when making use of HBOT), central nervous system fluids, lymph, and tissues which are oxygen deprived (such as injured tissues) as opposed to just into red blood cells. HBOT can also stimulate neovascularization (new blood vessels), osteogenesis (stimulation of collagen and bone growth) and enhance leukocyte function therefore decreasing the chance for infection. Oxygen is an essential part in all of these phases.
How Does Using HBOT For Sports Injuries Help Athletes?
This requirement of oxygen for healing and the abundance of oxygen available because of HBOT is why HBOT has been shown as an effective way of supporting injured athletes. For example, if an athlete suffers from a fracture, along with the ordinary procedures used to fix broken bones (such as casts, etc.), HBOT may help with the healing process as there will be more oxygen (which is essential to healing) available for the body. Another example of how HBOT can help is in the case of delayed onset muscle soreness which is caused by micro tears in the muscle. Again, more oxygen available to athlete’s body may help the body to heal these micro tears quicker.
HBOT is not a new medical advancement. The technology has been used for many years in sports such as diving to counteract decompression sickness. However, its ability to help with the rehabilitation of other sports injuries should not be overlooked. By saturating the body with oxygen, HBOT can help to accelerate the healing process enabling the athlete to get “back into the game”.
Through medical studies Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), combined with standard medical and/or surgical care, has been shown to provide patients with highly effective treatment option for a variety of medical conditions. At RegenQuest we offer advanced clinical assessment processes, hyperbaric medicine, specialized wound care and supportive nutrition that is focused on producing an outcome geared toward regenerating the health of athletes and individuals experiencing an array of medical conditions. Schedule a consultation with us today at 954-571-9392.