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Whether you are a professional player or a high school football player, injuries are a common occurrence in your setting. Most soccer players tear their anterior cruciate ligament, swimmers suffer from a condition called swimmer’s shoulder and tennis players hurt their elbows, a condition called tennis elbow. Athletes definitely require proper care and enough time to heal their injuries since these injuries can affect their performance in field. Athletes must seek advice to opt for therapies that help to improve healing time and aid them to recover fully.

This is where hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) comes into play. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a procedure that accelerates recovery and imparts anti-inflammatory benefits. Ultimately, it helps athletes recover from sports-related injuries and help keep in form.

Why Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a good option to recover from sports-related injuries?

Practicing, conditioning, training and struggling are a part of an athlete’s routine. Athletes have now transitioned from the traditional or conservative therapy of rest, rest and rest to more innovative therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Professional athletes are receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy to recover from their injuries whether they are tendon tears, torn muscles, joint pain, sprains or even concussions. Tennis players, runners, weightlifters, rock climbers, bicyclists, basketball players, skiers, crossfit athletes and even snowboarders can benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

1. HBOT helps recover from critical injuries:

Athletes often suffer from very grave injuries to the head termed as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) which result in loss of memory, anxiety, restlessness and focus issues. According to the CDC, about three million cases of traumatic brain injuries are reported every year. Of these, 10% are due to sports-related injuries. As these athletes start receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy, not only their injuries heal but their symptoms also improve with time. Memory loss also reverses showcasing very positive results.

2. HBOT accelerates athletic performance:

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy accelerates recovery and increases oxygen delivery to the injured tissues and ultimately to the brain. This not only improves physical performance but also provides mental clarity and focus, polishing your ability to make split-second decisions.

How does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy work to speed up the healing process?

Now you must be wondering how hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps heal injuries and concussion. The answer is as follows:

1. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy decreases inflammation and redness.

2. It enhances stem cells release and accelerates the healing process.

3. It speeds up vascular flow and supplies nutrients and oxygen to the healing tissue, thus reducing muscle fatigue and weariness. By exposing the injured tissue to the hyperbaric chamber, it helps absorb greater amounts of oxygen under high pressure and allows oxygen to penetrate deeper into the tissues and cells thereby speeding up the recovery process. A 60 minute session of the hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides 4 times the amount of oxygen as compared to that delivered in a normal setting under normal atmospheric pressure.

4. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy also helps regenerate bone and cartilage. It does this by activating osteoclasts that clear up the dead and injured bone tissue. Once all the dead bone is cleaned up, osteoblasts come into action and lay down new bone cells.

5. It slows down the process of scar formation by increasing the production of collagen in the skin.

Other treatments as an adjunct to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:

Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy gives amazing results when combined with platelet-rich plasma stem cell injections. This combination speeds up the recovery process. Studies reveal that coupling HBOT and stem cell injections has a positive impact on the effectiveness of the therapy.

HBOT has also been used as a supportive therapy after the primary repair of the anterior cruciate ligament. It enhances the success rates of medical therapy.

Other Beneficial effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Athletes:

There are a numerous beneficial effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy other than speeding up recovery from grave injuries. Athletes make use of this therapy to:

1. Optimize their body condition, decrease soreness and prepare themselves for a new game.

2.  Maximize their performance and increase energy levels

3.  Prevent injuries

4. Sportsmanship takes more than just physical endurance and exercise. It demands mental clarity, focus and mental stamina to excel on ground. Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy is a great option to reduce brain fog and improve mental strength. This ultimately helps athletes to perform at their best.

5. Improve sleep patterns

6. HBOT helps antibiotics to work better in a high-pressure oxygen environment.

7. Reduces pain and minimizes the need for pain medications.

Athletes that are using HBOT:

Rafael Soriano, a retired baseball player implied hyperbaric oxygen therapy to relax after workout or after a tough and tiring game. Another athlete, Rashad Jennings, spills some beans on the fact that he slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to recover his body from a tiring day at the games or to return to health.

A Little Apprehension:

To conclude, athletes can definitely make use of Hyperbaric oxygen therapy to recover from minor or even grave injuries as HBOT provides high-pressure oxygen which is absorbed in greater amounts by deeper tissues, thus accelerating the healing process. Moreover, it also helps to improve the athletic performance, optimize body condition, prevent injuries, improve mental clarity and focus, reduce pain and increase energy levels. Platelet-rich plasma therapy can also be used as an adjunct to HBOT to improve the effectiveness and results.

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