The human body has natural processes that heal acute wounds through a set of stages. When a wound is stuck in a stage of healing, it may be referred to as a chronic wound. When the body is unable to heal a wound on its own, treatments such as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) can assist in accelerating the healing of various types of chronic wounds.
Chronic wounds develop due to an imbalance between the production and degradation of molecules that play a large role in the healing process. There are various factors that contribute to the level of chronicity of the wound such as pressure or trauma, an increased bacterial load, excessive proteases (an enzyme that breaks down proteins and peptides), aberrant cells and inappropriate treatment.
In addition to the pain that can be experienced while suffering from a chronic wound, there may also be emotional and financial stress associated with the wound. As a result, there are various treatments available to accelerate the healing of chronic wounds, and alleviate the associated pressures.
How Does HBOT Treat Chronic Wounds?
HBOT is a scientifically proven, mainstream medical procedure that accelerates the body’s ability to heal. HBOT is an extremely effective treatment option, especially when combined with standard medical or surgical care. There are many benefits of HBOT, including increasing the body’s immune defenses to fight infection, promoting wound healing and reducing swelling that may occur around damaged areas.
HBOT is one treatment used to alleviate the symptoms of chronic wounds, and contribute to accelerated healing. The treatment uses controlled high-pressure chambers to expose patients to a constant 100% oxygen level. This pure oxygen is breathed into the body, and oxygenated blood is enabled to reach areas of the body where circulation is restricted, and oxygen levels are insufficient.
Different Types of Chronic Wounds
Wound care is an important part of the healing process. Chronic wounds often develop as a result of poor circulation, systemic illnesses, old age and repeated trauma. Chronic wounds can be grouped into four main types.
Arterial and Venous Ulcers
Weakened circulation can result in the lack of blood flow to tissues in the body. In turn, this can cause further damage to the arteries. Arterial ulcers can develop as a result of this weakened circulation, particularly in the feet and legs. These wounds are round in shape and can result in leg pain at night, and after exercise.
Similarly, venous ulcers develop from damage that is caused to the veins as a result of insufficient return of blood to the heart. HBOT has demonstrated the ability to play a role in the management of these arterial and venous ulcers by improving the circulation of oxygenated blood.
Approximately 15 – 25% of people suffering with Diabetes, the metabolic disease whereby the body has difficulty to produce insulin, develop chronic wounds that occur predominantly on the foot, heel or toes.
HBOT has been promoted as an effective treatment for diabetic wounds for a number of reasons such as improving the level of oxygen in the tissue, enhancing perfusion (the passage of fluid through the body’s systems), reducing swelling and inflammation, and improving collagen production.
Also known as a decubitus ulcer or a bed sore, pressure ulcers are injuries affecting the skin and underlying tissue due to prolonged pressure on the skin. This type of wound is most prevalent in bony areas of the body such as the heels, elbows and hips. HBOT is used to help speed the rate of body’s natural healing process for these ulcers.
RegenQuest is a premier independent provider of HBOT for a wide variety of medical conditions, including chronic wounds. Our specialized wound care focuses on regenerative plans to best suit the patient’s needs. Scheduling a consultation will ensure that you receive the best treatment for you.