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6 Conditions You Didn't Know Could Be Treated By Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

May 23, 2017


6 conditions that can be treated by hyperbaric oxygen therapy


Your body uses oxygen for all kinds of things. It’s carried in the bloodstream to reach cells throughout your body. The higher oxygen content you have in your system, the better your body’s cells and processes function.


Now imagine breathing hyperbaric oxygen, which is 97 percent oxygen at a much higher atmospheric pressure at sea level. If you think fresh air is good for you, think of what hyperbaric oxygen can do!


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is just that. The treatment has been around since at least the late 19th century. It’s most famous for treating decompression sickness, commonly known as “the bends” amongst SCUBA divers.


Today, HBOT has been shown to have a number of beneficial biochemical, cellular, and physiologic effects on the body. There are many documented uses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, including for the treatment of:

In addition to these uses, there are many “off-label” uses for HBOT as well. Here are six conditions you probably didn’t know could be treated by hyperbaric oxygen therapy:


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Cancer

First and foremost, studies have found that HBOT is not a cancer promoter and is safe to use with cancer patients. Researchers found “there is no evidence indicating the HBO neither acts as a stimulator of tumor growth nor as an enhancer of recurrence.”


On the contrary, there is evidence that shows HBOT might have tumor-inhibitory effects in certain cancer subtypes. One study found that HBOT can “increase tissue oxygen pressure and content to prevent the resistance, recurrence and metastasis of cancer” when used in conjunction with other treatments.


As always, additional studies are needed and HBOT should not be used as a substitute for cancer treatment as prescribed by a doctor. However, HBOT is showing promising signs in the treatment of cancer.


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Autism

One in 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States. ASD is a complex developmental disability that impairs communication and social interaction. It affects people differently and to varying degrees, as the condition exists on a spectrum.


While there is no known cure for autism, there are various approaches to treatment. There is no single treatment that will be effective for everyone with ASD. In fact, the Autism Society does not endorse any specific treatment because each individual is so unique.


HBOT is one promising treatment option for ASD. In one study, children with autism treated with HBOT showed improvements in terms of overall functioning, receptive language, social interaction, eye contact, and sensory/cognitive awareness compared to a control group.


HBOT is being used as a treatment for ASD because it decreases inflammation, improves cerebral hypoperfusion, and modulates immune dysregulation.


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Stroke

Strokes are a leading cause of long-term disability. In fact, 40 percent of stroke survivors have moderate to severe impairments that require special care. Part of the reason stroke recovery is so difficult is because stunned, non-active brain regions can persist for years.


Fortunately, HBOT has shown signs of activating neuroplasticity in stroke patients with chronic neurologic deficiencies. In one study, post-stroke patients treated with HBOT showed improvements in neurological functions and quality of life. Researchers found that HBOT can lead to significant neurological improvements in post stroke patients even at chronic late stages.



Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Sports Injuries

An athlete’s greatest fear is suffering a debilitating injury. A serious injury can take an athlete out of the game for a season, for years, or for life. HBOT can be used as treatment to help athletes heal faster and reduce the likelihood of reinjury. It has been suggested in scientific literature as a primary or adjunct treatment for sports injuries.


Long terms effects of HBOT such as forming new blood vessels (neovascularization) and stimulating collagen production are beneficial for injury recovery. Researchers report that “results have proven to be promising” in treating sports injuries with HBOT in comparison to typical rehabilitation methods.


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Inflammation

Inflammation is our body’s natural response to protect us from infection. Sometimes our white blood cells are fighting off bacteria and viruses, other times there are no foreign invaders to fight off. In this case, our body’s immune system causes damage to its own tissues.


HBOT has been used to treat all kinds of inflammation. It works to reduce swelling while still keeping the tissue well oxygenated. A recent study found that HBOT “significantly decreased inflammation” in patients as measured by CRP levels.


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Neurological Conditions

HBOT has been used to treat neurological injuries since 1937. Treating neurological conditions may be the most promising application of HBOT yet.


Research suggests “there is more evidence for using HBOT for neurological acute… with better clinical outcomes than any other single or combined treatment.” Additionally, combining HBOT with other therapies for brain injured patients enhances the effect of those treatments.



Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Portland

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy at Urban Wellness Group is a relaxing and restorative experience. We understand you may not be feeling your best when you come in for treatment. That’s why we do everything we can to create a healing, stress-free environment where you can focus on feeling better.


Here’s what you can expect when you walk in our front door:

  1. A warm, welcoming environment: We’re not your traditional doctor’s office. Our clinic is filled with homey touches like calm light, natural wood accents, and warm colors.
  2. No rush: We won’t make you wait forever to see your practitioner, and we won’t rush your treatment either. You’ll have plenty of time to receive the care you need and get all your questions answered.
  3. Complimentary tea: Before your appointment, we’ll offer you a cup of tea to sip while you wait in our waiting area.


Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Right for You?

If you’re curious about hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the practitioners at Urban Wellness Group can help. We’d love to talk to you, understand your situation and your needs, and help you decide if hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the right treatment for you.


Call Urban Wellness Group at (503) 445-9771 or contact us online today to make an appointment at our Division Street clinic.


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