Athletics2021-09-23T18:51:08+00:00

Athletics

Athletics

In athletics, injuries are common no matter the sport. Athletic injury treatment options have been very traditional with rest and slow physical therapy prescribed. Many athletes are finding that adding in hyperbaric chamber oxygen therapy is helping them to recover faster and more completely.

When an injury happens, swelling, or edema, is the most common indicator, showing that there is something damaged. This swelling is caused by excess fluid in the connective tissue to kill off pathogens and repair broken blood vessels.

Red blood cells carrying oxygen to the injured site is a vital part of repair because it helps fix broken vessels, tissue, and kill any outside pathogens that can cause an infection. In extreme injuries, the area is depleted of oxygen causing cell and tissue death.

How Hyperbaric Therapy Works

During a hyperbaric chamber therapy visit, the client is put into a specialized high-pressure chamber. Once the therapy starts, the oxygen levels are increased and combined with high pressure, it forces more oxygen into the bloodstream. This improves the healing process in the blood as it can provide more oxygen to everywhere in the body.

Using the hyperbaric chamber for athletes consists of a treatment 30 minutes to 2 hours long with multiple visits.

While hyperbaric oxygen treatments are still being studied, people have seen results. Hyperbaric oxygen helps athletic injuries such as:

  • Sprains
  • Fractures
  • Pulled muscles
  • Tendinitis
  • Contusions

Concussions have seen improvement as well. A form of mild traumatic brain injury, concussions are bruised brain tissue. There is often inflammation of the brain in the area with impaired blood flow. As therapy is used and more oxygen reaches the area, patients are seeing a reduction in swelling and increased blood flow to the area.

Supporting Research

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treating athletic injuries is still an area of interest for researchers. Its full effect on the body is still not known, but evidence is piling up that it can help the body recover from a myriad of problems. Here are some of the studies that support using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to increase healing for athletic injuries.

The first study looks specifically at the use of hyperbaric chamber therapy in athletic injuries. It found that using hyperbaric treatments helped reduce inflammation, enhance leukocyte function, repair blood vessels in hypoxic soft tissues, stimulate bone repair, and stimulate collagen production. They also found that hyperbaric chamber oxygen therapy improved wound healing and the patient’s recovery from radiation injury.

The study also found that athletes experience less infection since the oxygen helped decrease the bacteria at the injured site. Many of these germs are anaerobic, so being put into an oxygenated environment kills them off. The patients also reported a reduction in pain because the swelling was decreased.

Another study shows that treating traumatic brain injuries, even those caused by sports, saw improvement in brain flow, function, and reduced mortality. This is supported by another study on mild to moderate brain injuries and shows an increased quality of life in those using hyperbaric chamber therapy.

THE AALTO DIFFERENCE

At Aalto Hyperbaric Medical Group, we value scientific evidence and innovation, so we send our doctors to meetings held by the European Underwater and Baromedical Society, Hyperbaric Medicine International Society, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, American College of Hyperbaric Medicine, and the International Hyperbarics Association every year.

Not Just for Injuries

Athletes of all health levels can benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy. By increasing the oxygen in the blood, a person can recover faster from sore muscles and lactic acid build up. Hyperbaric chamber for athletes can aid in recovery from workouts and athletic events faster. A study that looked at Olympic athletes and their use of hyperbaric chamber therapy showed shorter recovery periods.

While stretching and activity are the usual prescribed methods to help muscle cramps and delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS), hyperbaric chamber therapy is also helpful. Whether a person is an elite athlete or a novice, using oxygen therapy can help improve many obstacles in training recovery.

Legal Disclaimer

While the studies on the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy suggest promising results for a variety of medical conditions, individual results may vary. There are no guarantees for a specific outcome. HBOT may not be appropriate for every condition or ever individual.

The content information provided within this site are for educational and informational purposes only and not to be considered as medical advice.  Please consult with your treating medical physician before pursuing any form of therapy, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.  In full support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, off-label Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is considered Investigational and Experimental.

If you are experiencing any kind of medical emergency, always call 911 or your doctor immediately.

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