HBOT in medical rehabilitations and sports medicine


HBOT is used as a valuable adjunct in early and later rehabilitation after many trauma conditions. Hypoxia is one of the most important causes or consequences in the majority of all disease and in all traumas. Apparent in early/basic mechanisms of injury due to damage to circulatory network and neural tissue, it is additionally complicated by edema and immobilization.

Compromised healing and edema per se limit mobility of affected joints and limbs. This is usually potentiated by inactivity but at the same time represents a limitation for traditional rehabilitation methods. HBOT promptly acts as anti-edematous remedy and slows down onset of atrophy, aiding in recovery of muscular and tendon elasticity and strength.

Another problem in rehabilitation are spasms, which are a consequence of damage to neural structures. HBOT acts as a spasmolitic agent, myolitic agent and lowers the intensity and frequency of spasms. Besides, it affects the oxygen penumbra zone (neural tissue deprived of oxygen but still alive), thus increasing chances for survival, easier and faster recovery and often for complete cure.

HBOT effects reviewed in this chapter are a result of numerous scientific research studies, published and presented in medical journals and scientific meetings, respectfully. Those studies strongly suggest beneficial effect of HBOT in rehabilitation processes, especially in:

  • cerebral insult,
  • coronary disease,
  • peripheral vascular disease,
  • paraparesis and paraplegia,
  • toxic encephalopathy ( after CO poisoning and other intoxications) and
  • all kind of injuries but pulmonary.

Amongst other treatment options and modalities, the usage of HBOT should be planned in a way that enables maximum oxygen content in the tissues immediately before application of other methods, i.e. right before other methods or, even better, together with other methods, if technically possible. Such an approach leads to therapeutic philosophy frame enabling maximum utilization of increased PpO2, which lasts for hours after pressure exposure. Everyday combined treatment makes the outcome visible already after two weeks.

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