Any athlete is expected to maintain their fitness and health especially when they play a competitive sport. This helps them continue playing the sport for the long term.
However, every athlete is known to undergo various stressful situations, including sports or training camps and practice sessions before the actual play-day. Of course, before an important tournament, everything is on the rise, which impacts the athlete physically as well as mentally.
Sometimes, during these rigorous and difficult training sessions, athletes become prone to injury and cramps. If an injury occurs, it becomes a serious setback to the entire training and has a detrimental impact on the career of the athlete.
With the right treatment process, these injury periods can be reduced and the health of the athletes can be improved. For instance, hyperbaric chambers help in improving the condition quickly. It accelerates healing and improves bodily strength.
Therefore, using an HBOT chamber is a viable and optimum option for athletes. Let’s see why.
What is Hyperbaric Chambers for Athletes?
In every corner of the world, HBOT therapy is utilized as a natural healing method for various ailments. The FDA has allowed HBOT for the following conditions:
- Non-healing wounds
- Decompression sickness
- Thermal burns
- Gas gangrene
- Cyanide poisoning
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Necrotizing infections
- Radiation effects
- Skin flaps
- Gas embolism
But, considering the effectiveness of this therapy, it is being used for various sports injuries. For instance, concussions, athletic injuries, traumatic brain injury, autism, etc.
So, what is hyperbaric therapy for athletes?
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment offers pure oxygen to the patient in a chamber that is pressurized. It is a non-invasive procedure that allows the patient to sleep or rest inside the chamber for 30-90 minutes while inhaling 100% oxygen.
Normally, we inhale oxygen and our red blood cells carry it throughout the body. Every cell, tissue, and organ receives the appropriate amount of oxygen through the blood only. However, when tissues are injured, the blood concentration of oxygen is reduced and diseased areas don’t receive the appropriate amount of oxygen.
In HBOT, pressure is increased, which allows blood plasma, lipids, and other bodily fluids to carry oxygen. With improved blood concentration of oxygen, even diseased or injury sites in the body receive oxygen. This promotes healing, which is also why hyperbaric chambers are a viable treatment plan.
Hyperbaric Therapy for Athletes: Injury Relief
When the oxygen supply is improved in the damaged and dormant parts of the athlete’s body, inflammation reduces and the tissue regeneration process starts. As a result, the tissue development process accelerates recovery from injury and even promotes faster healing from concussion and injury.
It is believed that adapting to HBOT therapy can help athletes have a lower risk of hypoxia or other complications of TBI.
Here’s how hyperbaric therapy for athletes helps in injury relief.
1. Faster Healing
Hyperbaric chambers are designed to improve oxygen concentration in the body, which helps wounds heal faster. If an athlete suffers from wounds and they take HBOT therapy, then the damaged tissues receive proper oxygen. The therapy also stimulates the growth of new blood vessels. All these things enhance the immune defenses of the body.
2. Decreased Pain
If any athlete has suffered an injury and they are in pain, then HBOT therapy can decrease post pain medication requirements. The reason behind this is that HBOT helps in healing injury and damage, which reduces the pain.
3. Decreased Swelling
With the increase in the production of collagen, the scares on the appearance are also reduced. In fact, hyperbaric chambers help decrease swelling, inflammation, and bruising after surgery.
4. Accelerated Performance
As the oxygen concentration in the body improves, it also increases in the brain. This reduces the healing period. As a result, efficient brain activity and a reduced recovery period lead to better performance. The athlete gains the power to make rapid decisions and resume the game for a longer period than usual.
5. Better Recovery Rate
Hyperbaric chambers help in accelerating the healing processes of our tissues and cells. This starts quick recovery after surgery. If an athlete has suffered a major injury during the game which requires surgery, HBOT post-surgery can help. It can promote ATP production, reduces lactic acid, and decreases muscle fatigue.
How To Choose The Right Chamber?
1. Monoplace Hyperbaric Chambers
A monoplace chamber is designed to treat one person at a time. So, as an athlete, you can purchase a monoplace chamber to receive therapy at home.
2. Multiplace Hyperbaric Chambers
A multiplace chamber accommodates multiple people for hyperbaric therapy. In one session, more than one person can sit in this large chamber. However, these are usually found at clinics or medical facilities.
3. Portable Hyperbaric Chambers
The last choice is a small portable chamber that is designed for one user only. You can port it or carry it with you during tournaments. This is the best choice for a sportsperson.
Many athletes use HBOT for quick recovery and healthy practice sessions. Hyperbaric chambers help in reducing the recovery period, pain, and swelling. If you wish to receive all these benefits, then check the type of chamber that can help you. However, consult your physician for a proper HBOT therapy plan before moving forward.