Just Aching to Feel Better… Can Oxygen Help?

In simple terms, arthritis is defined as inflammation of the joints, however, with over 100 known types, it’s a much more complicated condition than it appears. An arthritis diagnosis may stem from general wear and tear on any of the joints, an autoimmune disorder, an infection or many other underlying conditions. The most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Gout. Diseases that commonly include arthritis as a co-condition include Lupus, sepsis, Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Hypothyroidism, tendonitis, and much more. All of these conditions either directly deteriorate the cartilage and other tissue around the joints or trigger the immune system to attack the joints as if the tissue were a foreign invader.

All forms of arthritis may cause a spectrum of symptoms that may get worse as the triggering condition progresses. Common symptoms include joint swelling, redness, rash, pain (throbbing, burning, numbing), loss of mobility or complete function of affected joint and fever. For patients with autoimmune disorders or infections, these symptoms may fluctuate as their condition “flares” over time.

Because arthritis is inflammatory, it’s a commonly treated condition with hyperbaric therapy. The primary modality of HBOT is its ability to influence up to 8,101 different genes, including the genes that trigger and turn off the inflammatory process as well as the subsequent cellular cleanup. According to Dr. Dan Rossignol, a 1-hour treatment in a hyperbaric chamber produces the equivalent anti-inflammatory power as 12,000mg of Motrin without the toxic side effects. Hyperbarics has been researched and prescribed for many of the co-conditions that trigger arthritis as well. Some patients report a decrease in their pain, swelling, and mobility dysfunction and a better quality of life after a series of treatments.

Man experiencing severe pain in knee. Arthritis

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is comparable to acetylsalicylic acid treatment in an animal model of arthritis.
Wilson HD, Toepfer VE, Senapati AK, Wilson JR, Fuchs PN.
J Pain. 2007 Dec;8(12):924-30. Epub 2007 Aug 9.Department of Psychology,
University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas 76109, USA.

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States are affected by the pain, disability, and decreased quality of life associated with arthritis. The primary focus of treatment is on reducing joint inflammation and pain through a variety of pharmacotherapies, each of which is associated with various side effects.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an alternative treatment that has been recommended to treat a variety of inflammatory diseases, ranging from chronic brain injury to exercise induced muscle soreness. The purpose of this set of experiments was to explore the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on joint inflammation and mechanical hyperalgesia in an animal model of arthritis, and compare these effects to treatment with aspirin. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly reduced both joint inflammation and hyperalgesia. As compared with aspirin treatment, hyperbaric treatment was equally as effective in decreasing joint inflammation and hyperalgesia.

PERSPECTIVE: This article reports that hyperbaric oxygen treatment decreases pain and inflammation in an animal model of arthritis. The effect of hyperbaric oxygen treatment is very similar in magnitude to the effect of acetylsalicylic acid treatment. Potentially, hyperbaric oxygen could be used to treat pain and inflammation in patients with arthritis.

Click here to read the full study.

Man experiencing severe pain in knee. Arthritis

Arthritis: Studies, Articles and Videos