Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was first shown to help with injuries in the military when divers would spend long hours doing hard physical work under pressure. When surfacing they would note that they felt refreshed, energetic and decreased muscle pain and joint stiffness.
After vigorous training day to day, athletes show fatigue and physical exertion.In recent years, professional and college teams have started using hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to treat sports injuries. From muscle contusions and ankle sprains to delayed-onset muscle soreness, HBOT has been used to facilitate soft-tissue healing . During HBOT more oxygen is dissolved in plasma of the pulmonary vein via the alveolar, increasing the oxygen reaching the peripheral tissues. Because of the importance of oxygen in the aerobic energy system, many athletes and researchers have also investigated the possible ergogenic effects of HBOT.
From muscle contusions and ankle sprains to delayed onset muscle soreness, HBOT has been used for Recovery to facilitate soft tissue healing, quicken healing time, reduce hypoxia and edema, and treating crush injuries and acute traumatic peripheral ischemia.
HBOT has also been used to help athletes achieve peak performance.
When using HBOT while training, the body receives increased cell growth and regeneration immune support, detoxification, new capillary growth and improved neurological functioning. Less lactic acid build up, greater endurance and less muscle fatigue are also reported.
The number of sports professionals using this treatment for recovery and endurance are increasing every year by the NHL, NFL, NBA, and MBL. While little has been published on hyperbarics and sport related injuries, the treatment is being spread by improved testomonials and hopefully more research and studies will be done in the near future.