Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (or HBOT for short) is a unique treatment that is used for a wide variety of reasons. The benefits of HBOT seem endless, ranging from decreasing the signs of aging, to healing a physical injury. Not only is HBOT highly beneficial, but it’s also a great place to relax and have time to yourself. While in session, all you need to do is lay back and breathe normally while you read your favorite book or take a peaceful nap. During treatment, HBOT chambers are pressurized and deliver higher levels of oxygen to your system, which helps increase the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. This increased oxygen supply boosts your immune system, improves healing, and offers many other benefits. In fact, hyperbaric oxygen therapy could be exactly what athletes need to boost their performance.
In this piece, we’ll outline the ways that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can benefit athletes no matter their athletic level.
Why Use a Hyperbaric Chamber for Athletes?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers have been used by medical professionals for many years. The first use was to treat patients who were suffering from decompression sickness (DCS). DCS occurs when divers ascend too quickly or are exposed to pressure changes that exceed their tolerance level. When divers surface, nitrogen bubbles form inside the body and cause pain and other symptoms. The hyperbaric chamber allows patients to reduce the pressure inside their body and allows them to recover faster. It also increases blood flow to the brain, which makes it easier for the brain to function at a higher level and recover from any trauma.
In addition to treating DCS, the hyperbaric chamber has also been used as an effective treatment for wounds, burns, and chronic ulcers. In newer studies, HBOT chambers are used to heal broken bones. Doctors have found that the chamber speeds up the rate at which bone repair occurs. Evidence also suggests that HBOT helps with muscle recovery after vigorous workouts and injuries.
If that wasn’t enough, hyperbaric chambers have been shown to improve mental health as well. Studies show that using an HBOT chamber can lower levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, and boost your overall mood.
How Does the Hyperbaric Chamber Work?
When you enter the hyperbaric chamber, you will be placed into a sealed environment where you will breathe 100% oxygen for 60 minutes. During this time, the pressure inside the chamber will gradually increase until it reaches 1.5 times greater than normal atmospheric pressure. This elevated pressure creates an environment in your body that allows for oxygen to be readily dissolved into the blood stream, fueling metabolic function at the cellular level.
After your session is complete, the pressure will slowly decrease back down to normal. Once you leave the chamber, you will be monitored for a short period of time to ensure you’re feeling great. At this point, you should feel energized, renewed, and experience less pain and fewer symptoms.
Why Should Athletes Use HBOT?
There are several reasons why athletes might benefit from HBOT. For one thing, this therapy can help prevent injuries. Many sports require repetitive movements over long periods of time. These types of activities put a lot of strain on the muscles and joints. Overuse injuries occur when these muscles become tired and weak. By increasing oxygenated blood flow to the affected area, HBOT can speed up recovery and make it easier for the athlete to perform the same activity again.
Another reason why athletes might want to consider HBOT is that it can enhance athletic performance. The chamber provides an atmosphere that mimics a high-altitude environment, which is beneficial for training. It forces your body to work harder and produce more energy. This means that you can train longer without getting fatigued.
Ready to See How HBOT in Denver at McWhorter CNR Can Help You?
We are proud practitioners of HBOT at McWhorter CNR. If you’re seeking out a hyperbaric chamber for athletes in Denver, McWhorter CNR is one of the best places to turn. We have several hyperbaric chambers on site and many trained medical professionals to help you navigate this therapy.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.