Many people might have noticed that it takes an especially long time to heal chronic wounds, which can be due to a combination of factors. Wounds that heal slowly can be a huge stress factor for many patients who want nothing more than to function normally. Whether it’s from surgery, an injury, or a gradual appearance, slow-healing wounds should be examined further and given the appropriate treatment, such as hyperbaric treatment.
About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
These treatments use hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) integrated into a program for healing wounds. It is typically accompanied by other treatments, such as dressing changes, debridement treatments, and better nutrition.
Wound healing does not have a single solution because it requires different components of the body to work together—so this kind of therapy addresses those multiple needs!
How Does HBOT Work to Heal Wounds?
Knowing what prevents a wound from healing naturally is crucial to understanding how HBOT works.
Sometimes the tissues don’t get enough oxygen, which is vital to the healing process. This is a condition called hypoxia. Other things that could be lacking in the body are collagen accompanied by a delay in tissue synthesis, so there aren’t enough tissues being created to keep up with the body’s demand. The body’s immune system may also have a difficult time fighting off the infection, leading to inflammation and swelling, preventing the body from healing properly.
In all of these processes, oxygen is a crucial component—making HBOT an effective treatment therapy for wounds.
Oxygen is required for our bodies to produce energy at the cellular level. When the body requires more work or processes to be done—which is the case in healing a wound—it demands more oxygen. Depending on the injury, however, the body may struggle with providing enough oxygen to the affected area, thereby slowing down the healing process.
For example, exposed bones or tendons typically don’t have that many blood vessels surrounding them, making transport of oxygen through the blood difficult. HBOT can provide the oxygen needed by pushing it into the affected tissues from the outside.
2. Insufficient tissue and collagen synthesis
Observe your wounds when you sustain an injury. If you feel like it should have shown signs of healing by now, then your hunch is probably right! There’s a chance that your body is having difficulty producing enough tissue and collagen at the rate it’s needed.
New tissue requires macronutrients, micronutrients, and oxygen. These are typically delivered through your circulatory system; However, issues like diabetes, venous stasis, and radiation damage can prevent your blood from retaining the needed components for wound healing and delivering them to the site of the wound.
HBOT can facilitate the building of new blood vessels to support tissue building that will promote healing.
3. Poor Immune System
If the body has a poor immune system, then it will fight off infections much more slowly. Hyperbaric therapy is especially useful because it kills bacteria that might get in the way of the healing process.
HBOT is especially helpful for infections like chronic soft tissue infections, abscesses in the brain, and bone infections, which tend to be complicated cases.
Inflammation is usually correlated with hypoxia. As tissues don’t get enough oxygen, they swell up and increase the spacing between the cells, making it more difficult for the necessary nutrients to reach the wound efficiently. Cells can get the nutrients that they need as HBOT reduces inflammation and swelling!
Wound healing is not a simple process that takes simple iodine or hydrogen peroxide application to heal. There are complicated factors that can contribute to difficulties in your body’s ability to heal—and all of them should be taken into account when considering the most effective kinds of treatments. By investing in hyperbaric therapy, you are resupplying your body with what it needs at the cellular level to ensure a speedy and successful recovery.
If you’re looking for a provider of hyperbaric oxygen therapy near you, Valley Health and Hyperbarics offers advanced custom therapies for different conditions. With the expertise of Dr. Jo Feingold, patients can achieve a new level of health by finding better ways to heal. Start your healing with us and request an appointment today!