Have you ever sprained an ankle, broken a bone or felt an ischiatic pain send shivers down your leg? Then you know that these can turn your whole life upside down and prevent you from going to work, engaging in your favourite activities or even getting up a hustle for weeks. Now, who has the time for that? So quick and effective rehabilitation is, of course, your priority once you find yourself in a similar position.

Common Injuries

Muscle sprains and strains, tears of the ligaments and tendons, dislocated joints, fractured bones, and head injuries are common. They can be caused by an accident, impact, poor training practices, improper equipment, lack of conditioning, or insufficient warm-up and stretching. Rehabilitation of injuries is used by professional and recreational athletes exposed to extreme stress in training and competitions. Due to inadequate body preparation, these activities increasingly lead to injuries. Even moderate everyday physical and sports activities can lead to similar results. Thus, complete and fast recovery is something therapists and patients strive to achieve.  

The ultimate goal of the rehabilitation process is to limit the extent of the injury, reduce or reverse the impairment and functional loss, and prevent, correct or eliminate the disability altogether. [1]
  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy HBOT is a very effective method because it has some specific effects on the body that help accelerate healing and recovery:

  • enhances oxygen delivery, which fights infection and inflammation
  • causes vasoconstriction, which means it reduces oedema
  • helps grow new capillaries
  • stimulates the nerves
  • simulates collagen production
  • promotes an environment less hospitable to anaerobes

To date, numerous professional athletic teams, including hockey, football (NFL), basketball, soccer, and tennis, utilise and rely on HBOT as adjuvant therapy for multiple sports-related injuries acquired from playing competitive sports. HBOT is the application of two variables – increased pressure and increased oxygen. We know that mitochondrial respiration is the key to an athlete’s recovery and performance, and thus, we see that HBOT has desired effects[2].  

Operative Procedures

Prolonging life expectancy, sports injuries, traffic, and work accidents and, on the other hand, the rapid development of operative techniques of surgery and orthopaedics have accelerated the development of rehabilitation after injuries and operations of the musculoskeletal system. Patients are treated individually, and the principle of gradual workload is taken into account when preparing programs. The rehabilitation goals are to restore mobility, normal muscle strength, balance, coordination and achieve optimal bodily function. HBOT now represents an additional treatment that can be used to speed up the recovery and tackle issues other methods can not. HBOT can be successfully implemented as a pre-surgery as well as post-surgery treatment. Fitzpatrick, Murphy and Bryce show in their research [3] that hyperbaric oxygen therapy reduced oedema after surgical decompression and improved tissue viability. “We believe that hyperbaric oxygen is a useful intervention in the management of compartment syndrome,” they add. Here is another example from the orthopaedic field. Open fractures with significant soft tissue injury are associated with high rates of complications, such as non-union, infection, chronic pain and disability. Complications often require further inpatient care and multiple operations, and prolonged rehabilitation in many cases. The use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an adjunct to standard orthopaedic trauma care can reduce the complications of musculoskeletal injury and thus improve outcomes. [4]  

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a sudden, external, physical assault damages the brain. It is one of the most common causes of disability and death in adults. TBI is a broad term that describes a vast array of injuries to the brain. The damage can be focal (confined to one area of the brain) or diffuse (happens in more than one area of the brain). The severity of a brain injury can range from a mild concussion to a severe injury that results in coma or even death. [5] The aim of rehabilitation after TBI is to help the patient become as independent as possible and thus achieve the highest possible quality of life. So again, a broad range of methods is used, and HBOT can be one of them. Numerous studies have shown that hyperbaric oxygen can increase oxygen concentration, increase oxygen diffusion distance, and induce various mechanisms to correct the acidosis neuroprotective effect. This study showed that hyperbaric oxygen can significantly reduce the rate of neuronal apoptosis after traumatic brain injury, significantly improving neurological function [6] Not only that – another study shows success in treating Persistent post-concussion syndrome (PPCS) after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), which is a severe issue of the military population. Data from Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for mild traumatic brain injury persistent post-concussion syndrome: a randomised controlled trial indicates that  HBOT demonstrated statistically significant improvements in post-concussion and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, memory, cognitive functions, depression, anxiety, sleep, and quality of life in civilian and military subjects with mTBI/PPCS compared to controls. [7]

AHA Medical Solution – For Rehabilitation

AHA Hyperbarics has developed a solution for healthcare professionals that answers their needs regarding rehabilitation treatments that take place in hospitals, clinics, and specialised centres. It provides a broad introspect into the principles of hyperbarics applied to the exact needs for working with patients in need of rehabilitation. Based on experience and research, we have developed treatment protocols and can offer superb certified equipment for hyperbaric treatments.

Sources cited:

1  Rehabilitation in Sport

2   Hyperbaric Oxygen Effects on Sports Injuries

3   Adjunctive treatment of compartment syndrome with hyperbaric oxygen

4 Hyperbaric Oxygen in Lower Limb Trauma (HOLLT); protocol for a randomised controlled trial

5 Traumatic Brain Injury

6 Hyperbaric Oxygen Alleviates Secondary Brain Injury After Trauma Through Inhibition of TLR4/NF-κB Signaling Pathway

7 Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for mild traumatic brain injury persistent post-concussion syndrome: a randomised controlled trial

 

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