Can Athletes Use Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Sports Injury?

It is normal for athletes to get sports related injuries during exercises or during the main sports events. These injuries occur mostly due to improper equipment, insufficient warm ups, lack of conditioning or poor training techniques. In the recent years, more pro athletes are turning to hyperbaric chambers to quicken their recovery from sports injury. This is the same therapy applied to help autistic patients who are required to undergo autism hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Toronto. Sports injuries usually involve the muscles, cartilage and bones due to the activities involved.

What happens to the body after a sports injury?

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Immediately the injury occurs, the body releases chemicals from the damaged cells which trigger inflammation. This is how the body reacts in an attempt to repair the damaged cells. The blood vessels around the injured part dilate to increase blood flow to carry nutrients to the damaged tissue. Hours after the injury, white blood cells travel to the injured tissues where they tear down damaged tissue.

They remove the damaged tissues to allow other specialized cells to develop scar tissues. Scar tissues continue to form around the damaged area and this goes on for the next few days. The amount of the scar depends on the extent of the swelling or the bleeding within the tissues. Months after the injury, scar tissues shrink to bring separated tissues together. However, some injuries take months to heal.

Common sports injuries

There are common sports injuries that occur to athletes depending on the kind of sport. These include sprains which occur when ligaments stretch or tear, strains are brought about by twisting or muscle pulls. Severe cases include fractures where bones break or the Achilles’ tendon. Some athletes experience sports injuries that sometimes may lead to permanent damage which can cost an athlete his career.

Not all sports injuries are fatal and an athlete needs to take some time off to heal. It is important that an athlete does not stay away from his sport for long. This has led some athletes to turn to hyperbaric oxygen therapy to quicken their recovery.

How the hyperbaric oxygen therapy works

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is usually used to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood. When the blood oxygen increases, tissue function and blood gasses levels are restored to normal which promotes healing and reduces chances of infection. Oxygen is known to play a vital role in injury recovery and physiological fatigue. Sports performance demand has increased over the years and an athlete cannot afford to stay out of the game for long. An athlete can turn to hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat Injuries of lower extremities so that they can get back in the game as soon as possible.

Side effects of the hyperbaric oxygen therapy

A therapy session usually lasts one to two hours with doctors on standby to monitor the process. During therapy, the air pressure rises to two or three times higher than normal and this can cause a temporary feeling of ear fullness commonly experienced when an airplane is taking off or is landing. This feeling can be relieved by yawning to restore the normal air pressure. One can also feel slightly light headed after the treatments and should not panic as this is normal.

The feeling usually goes away after a few minutes and you don’t have to cancel your normal daily routines. For hyperbaric oxygen therapy to be effective, an athlete needs to schedule for more than one session. The medical condition of an athlete will determine the number of sessions to be carried out. These therapy sessions are outpatient procedures and one does not need to be admitted. These procedures are not only good for quick injury recovery but also ensure the general welfare of the body.

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