Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Just wondering if anyone has tried hyperbaric oxygen therapy for fibromyalgia? While studies are underway and it has not been studied enough, has anyone tried it? My doctor mentioned it as a possible treatment for a head injury. I have read about it being a possible treatment for fibro. It is really expensive so I doubt I’ll be trying it.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, uses pressurized oxygen in order to treat painful side effects of certain medical conditions. Delivered in an oxygen chamber, HBOT has been used for centuries. In fact, the first sealed hyperbaric oxygen chamber was created in Britain in 1662. Long associated with diving, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is now being used in a number of large medical facilities and hospitals throughout the United States in order to treat over 60 different medical conditions.

What Conditions Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treat?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been commonly used to treat decompression sickness in divers, as well as carbon monoxide poisoning. This type of treatment has now been expanded in order to help patients suffering from:

smoke inhalation
soft tissue burns
head injuries
Lyme disease
chronic fatigue syndrome

What is Involved with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves the continual delivery of pressurized oxygen to a patient who is suffering from a specific illness or condition. Generally, we breathe in air that is comprised of a mixture of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon monoxide. On earth, this air exists at a pressure of approximately 14.7 pounds per square inch. During HBOT, only 100% pure oxygen is delivered to the patient. Additionally, this oxygen is pressurized by a machine to twice the normal levels.

How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work?
The key mechanism involved in HBOT is known as hyperoxygenation. As the patient is immersed in the pure, pressurized oxygen, their bodily tissues are forced to soak up increased levels of oxygen. Oxygen saturates the skin and enters the blood stream, causing a number of biological reactions, which work to reduce pain and treat illness. In particular, hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps to:

stimulate the development of new blood vessels, improving circulation
stimulate the action of white blood cells, helping the body to fight off infection
narrows certain blood vessels, reducing inflammation and swelling
inhibit the growth of foreign bacteria and organisms

Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Help Fibromyalgia Patients?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a relatively new treatment for fibromyalgia. However, initial studies seem to illustrate that HBOT has a positive effect on the symptoms of fibromyalgia, including muscle pain and tender points.

A study performed by medical researchers at a Turkish military hospital revealed astonishing results when it comes to using HBOT on fibromyalgia patients. This double blind, placebo-controlled study exposed fibromyalgia patients to 15, 90-minute hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments. Researchers recorded information regarding the patient’s tender points and pain threshold before the study began, throughout the treatments, and again following treatments

The results of the study showed that the fibromyalgia patients receiving HBOT reported a decreased number of tender points and an increased pain threshold. In fact, after 15 sessions, the patients recorded half the number of original tender points and twice their original pain threshold. Those patients who received placebo HBOT recorded no improvements.

Very interesting. To my simple, uneducated mind, it makes a lot of sense. Too bad stuff like this isn’t available to us common folk!

Well, I do know that the inverse, lack of oxygen, messes those of us with sleep apnea up at night, so it seems possible that pure oxygen might be helpful for fibro. It certainly sounds pleasant, getting a nice dose of pure oxygen to make up for all that I lack while sleeping...

I have no idea other than that, and other than to echo MBP's response that it's too bad it's not available for people like us. Maybe in the future, tho...

I would try it, my muscles always feel like they need more oxygen, maybe it would help with wrinkles and crows feet, sounds promising !

The cost for five weeks, five times a week, at a local facility was $4,000. There’s a chance insurance might pay if it is prescribed for a prior head injury.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Too bad I am a commoner… :slight_smile:

I’ll find the money somehow if it would erase my wrinkles and flab! LOL

I have a prior head injury. Wonder if that would be something my insurance would cover. However, I live in Podunk Alabama and there probably aren’t any places around here.