Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medically proven method of treating scuba divers for decompression sickness. For the divers, air pressure is directly correlated to the increase in depth. The deeper the dive, the easier it is for oxygen and nitrogen to permeate through your red blood cells when rising to the surface. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to gradually bring these divers back to normal atmospheric conditions at sea-level to avoid nitrogen-based medical complications.
However, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can have therapeutic effects for individuals already adjusted to sea-level atmospheric pressure.
How Does It Work?
In a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, air pressure is increased to three times normal atmospheric pressure. This means that the ability for your red blood cells to absorb oxygen is amplified. This factor, in conjunction with breathing in pure oxygen, creates a system where the human body is absorbing and utilizing higher amounts of oxygen.
How Does It Help?
To understand how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can benefit you, it is important to understand the basics of cellular respiration. For every cell in our body to function properly, we must intake oxygen and glucose. These “reactants” create the most fundamental “products” from our body: water, energy, and carbon dioxide. Water and energy are utilized by the body for normal functions, and carbon dioxide is expelled by the lungs.
If oxygen and sugar are used as essential reactants for cellular respiration, what will happen with an increase in breathable oxygen for our bodies?
Our bodies work tirelessly to maintain perfect balance within themselves. If it is too hot, our bodies cool down. If it is too cold, our bodies warm up. If we are awake, we use more energy. If we are asleep, we use less energy. If we take in a lot of sugar, more insulin is released to process sugar and help convert it into a readily available form, glucose. This process of maintaining equilibrium within the body is known as homeostasis.
When we have more oxygen given to our bodies, provided by a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, we are not exerting more energy to acquire oxygen for essential bodily functions. Therefore, an increase of oxygen into the blood cells while using hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps to maintain homeostasis for our benefit!
How Does It Help Me?
If you struggle with back pain, your body is constantly releasing hormones that tell our cells to rush to the site of inflammation. Due to the increased amount of oxygen in your blood from HBOT, the repairing functions of your cells on those inflammatory sites is enhanced! This property can be extrapolated to arthritic joints.
The extra oxygen, safely supplied in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, allows the body to recover faster.
Conditions that are treated well with HBOT are:
- Post surgery recovery
- Skin graphs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Altitude sickness
- Any trauma that is reluctant to heal
Contact Springs Chiropractic today to get started with your hyperbaric oxygen therapy!