Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a form of treatment that promotes healing of tissue within the body. Through increased oxygen levels inside a pressurized chamber, blood cells are capable of transporting greater amounts of oxygen inside the body.
With a rise in blood-oxygen levels, affected tissues throughout the body are able to stimulate a process called angiogenesis.
What is Angiogenesis?
Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels. This developmental process involves the growth and maturation of endothelial cells, which are the main type of cell located inside blood vessels, lymph nodes, and the heart.
Angiogenesis is the process of new blood vessel growth to promote healing. Photo courtesy of The Angiogenesis Foundation.
Endothelial cells are necessary for healing tissues that have become damaged, injured, or run-down. When an area of the body breaks down, inflammation often takes place, leaking fluid from the selected tissue. Inflammation is the body’s natural response by white blood cells to protect against foreign agents such as bacteria and viruses.
However, with the formation of swelling, tissue begins to deteriorate and receives limited oxygen. With the production of these new blood vessels through angiogenesis, areas of the body that are experiencing issues are able to see a restoration in normal levels of blood gases.
By inducing the process of angiogenesis, the benefits of hyperbaric chambers include:
- Promotion of Wound Healing
- Infection Control
- Reduction in Swelling/Inflammation
- Increase in Blood Flow
- Rise in Nitric Oxide Levels
What Are Some Hyperbaric Chamber Uses?
Hyperbaric chamber treatment has proved to help spark healing and combat infection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved hyperbaric chambers as a medical device for the following conditions and injuries:
- Air or gas embolism
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Clostridial myositis and myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
- Crush injury, compartment syndrome, and other acute traumatic ischemias
- Decompression sickness
- Enhancement of healing in selected problem wounds such as:
(Diabetically derived illness, such as diabetic foot, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy)
- Exceptional blood loss (anemia)
- Intracranial abscess
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections (necrotizing fasciitis)
- Osteomyelitis (refractory)
- Delayed radiation injury (soft tissue and bony necrosis)
- Skin grafts and flaps (compromised)
- Thermal burns
Hyperbaric chambers help stimulate oxygen-rich blood flow
In addition to this list, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has shown results in patients and at clinics around the world to help treat conditions and diseases outside the list provided by the FDA.
With the process of angiogenesis proving to lower and limit inflammation, it is not surprising to see conditions that revolve around chronic inflammation have an effective reaction to the increase in higher oxygenated blood cells.
A list of conditions that Dr. Goodbinder has treated with hyperbaric chamber therapy includes:
How Does the Process of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work?
Patients lie down on a bed that is located within the pressurized cabin and typically spend between 30 minutes and 2 hours acclimating within the chamber. Inside the chamber, patients are exposed to 100 percent oxygen at atmospheric pressure levels that are three times higher than on Earth’s surface level.
Being immersed in these breathing conditions allows the lungs to obtain up to three times more oxygen that is possible outside the chamber, and thus encouraging the delivery of red blood cells with higher degrees of oxygen to the body.
Patients may experience sinus, ear, and joint pressure when undergoing treatment. Mild side effects to treatment options include claustrophobia, fatigue, and headaches. However, patients are normally able to participate in daily activities right after treatment.
Multiple sessions within the hyperbaric chamber are often recommended to begin to see the positive results yielded from angiogenesis.
Experience the Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers for Yourself
Dr. Goodbinder currently has three hyperbaric chambers at his practice, with the possibility of expanding in the future.
Contact Us today to start your healing journey with hyperbaric oxygen therapy!
Jay Goodbinder DC DABCI is a doctor in Overland Park, KS who serves patients in surrounding Kansas City areas, cities across the United States, and in several countries around the world.