Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment in which patients are placed inside a pressurized chamber and exposed to high levels of oxygen. This treatment is used to help improve the healing of certain medical conditions, including nerve injuries.
Nerve injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including trauma, infection, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease. When a nerve is damaged, it can lead to pain, a loss of sensation, muscle weakness, and even paralysis. Diabetics often progress to peripheral neuropathy due to the lack of blood flow to the nerve and ultimately a lack of oxygenation needed for the nerve to function properly.
HBOT works by increasing the amount of oxygen in the plasma, which can help to support the nerve, grow new blood vessels and improve blood flow to the damaged nerve. This increased blood flow can help to stimulate the healing process and promote further growth of new blood vessels in the area.
In addition to its effects on blood flow, HBOT can also help to reduce inflammation and swelling in the injured area. This will help to relieve pain and improve mobility, promoting natural healing by simply reducing swelling down to the cellular level.
HBOT promotes nerve healing and regeneration in multiple peer reviewed and published studiesThere are several studies that have shown the effectiveness of HBOT in treating nerve injuries. In one study, patients with spinal cord injuries who received HBOT showed significant improvements in their motor function and sensory abilities. This patient was able to return to normal function after a spinal cord injury that often has life altering consequences.
In another study, HBOT was found to be effective in treating peripheral nerve injuries, resulting in improved motor function and reduced pain. Patients with diabetes progressing to peripheral neuropathy may also experience ulcerations and non-healing wounds. In this study, diabetics saw significant improvement in nerve conduction and saw a reduction in diabetic non-healing wounds.
HBOT is typically administered in a series of sessions, with each session lasting around 60-90 minutes. The number of sessions required will depend on the severity of the nerve injury and the patient’s response to treatment. Acute treatment of the nerve may only require 10-20 treatments, while promoting blood vessel growth may take additional treatments, however once blood vessels have grown, the patient often continues to heal without the need for more treatments.
While HBOT has been shown to be effective in treating nerve injuries, it is important to note that it is not a cure-all. It is typically used in conjunction with other treatments, such as physical therapy, to provide the best possible outcome for the patient.
If you or a loved one has experienced a nerve injury, it is important to discuss the potential benefits of HBOT with your healthcare provider. Together, you can determine if this treatment option is right for you.
- Oxford Research - https://oxfordrecoverycenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Hyperbaric-Oxygen-Therapy-for-Neuropathy.pdf
- American Journal of Translational Research - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5446542/
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