How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Accelerates Healing in Athletes

If you’re an athlete, chances are you’ve developed or encountered sports-related injuries and illnesses. Thanks to recent technological advancements, athletes no longer have to undergo too-lengthy, painful recoveries. Now, they can rely on hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which accelerates healing. Here’s how it works. 

What is Hyperbaric Therapy? 

When you experience a sports injury, you will have damaged the tissue in your body. Hyperbaric therapy helps to accelerate healing by allowing patients to ingest pure oxygen inside a pressurized room. In this room, the air pressure is two to three times higher than average. 

When tissue becomes damaged, it requires more oxygen to survive. Inside the chamber, plasma in the body becomes super-saturated with oxygen, repairing damaged tissue.

The Benefits of Hyperbaric Therapy

For athletes dealing with sports trauma, hyperbaric therapy is an excellent method of getting back in the game sooner rather than later. You can benefit from regular sessions inside a hyperbaric chamber in the following ways. 

  • It increases white blood cell creation. These critical cells protect against illnesses, infections, and foreign bodies. Produced in the bone marrow, white blood cells destroy harmful substances when the body is in distress. 
  • It reduces healing time for injured tissues, as oxygen rushes through the body quicker than it typically would. 
  • It encourages the body to release stem cells that regenerate damaged tissues. 
  • It reduces the body’s inflammatory responses, allowing transplanted skin grafts and flaps to survive. 
  • It can help treat anemia, monoxide poisoning, arterial gas embolisms, gangrene, vision loss, and other traumatic sports-related injuries. 

What to Expect During a Hyperbaric Therapy Session

While it may appear daunting, hyperbaric therapy is an outpatient treatment that is painless and relaxing. Some units will cater to only one patient at a time, whereas others can accommodate groups. 

During your session, the increased pressure might create a sensation of fullness in the ears. This sensation might be similar to feeling your ears pop as you take off on a plane. Swallow or yawn to relieve the feeling if it bothers you. 

Expect your session to last about two hours. Depending on where you get hyperbaric therapy, you might be able to entertain yourself with a book or movie. After the session, a therapy team member will assess your vitals by looking into your ears and taking your blood pressure. 

If you have diabetes, they might check your blood pressure. You might experience hunger pangs or tiredness following your session—don’t worry, this is entirely normal!

How to Prepare for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

As with any type of therapy, you’ll have to step into a hyperbaric chamber more than once to experience its full effects. With that in mind, there’s a good chance that your insurance will cover this transformative treatment, depending on the conditions you’re suffering from. 

Even better, you won’t experience any downtime after a session—you’ll be good to head off to training immediately afterward. 

Conclusion

If you’re looking to enhance other forms of therapies and medications, consider hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This valuable treatment can go a long way in correcting a traumatic sports injury and have you back on the field in no time. 

Get the hyperbaric treatment you need at Valley Health and Hyperbarics. Request an appointment today and find out how our years of extensive research can put you in better shape to compete.