Fibromyalgia is a tricky condition to diagnose and an even trickier one to treat. The painful condition that affects women more often than men isn’t even widely recognized throughout the medical community, making the hunt for treatments a slow going process. But a team of researchers point to one potential treatment as a viable option for fibromyalgia sufferers: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves sitting or lying in a controlled chamber with air pressure about 2-3 times that of a normal room. The patient is given an oxygen mask that delivers 100% pure oxygen. The whole process usually takes approximately 2 hours and is repeated for 3 to 40 session, depending on the condition it’s being used to treat.
The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society has recognized that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be effective for these conditions: (1)
- carbon monoxide poisoning
- gas gangrene
crush injury, Compartment Syndrome, and frostbite
- decompression sickness
- slow-healing wounds
- blood loss, anemia
- intracranial abscess
- necrotizing soft tissue infections
- osteomyelitis (bone infection);
- injuries from radiation cancer treatment
- thermal burns
Is hyperbaric oxygen therapy effective for fibromyalgia?
In 2015, a team of researchers at Tel-Aviv University conducted a randomized controlled clinical trial to test whether hyperbaric oxygen therapy could be used to help manage fibromyalgia (2).
2015 Study Points to Potential Treatment
They reasoned that since the therapy had previously been used to improve neuroplasticity and brain function in people who have suffered from a stroke or brain injury (3), that it might be possible to have similar benefits for patients suffering from fibromyalgia.NameEmail