Amazing Benefits Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Athletes

Breathing 100% oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure is called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).

Becoming more and more popular in the athletic world, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is quickly becoming a treatment that amateur, collegiate, and professional athletes regularly utilize to hasten recovery time and enhance their overall athletic performance.

The American Medical Association (AMA) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) have approved hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a medical treatment. This healing treatment can increase the benefits of oxygen on the body by increasing the volume of oxygen that enters the bloodstream and other bodily fluids.

From a medical standpoint, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one of the best tools to treat many issues, diseases, and injuries. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can treat tissue damage caused by radiation, non-healing diabetic wounds, and other medical conditions. It’s no wonder athletes are seeing the benefits of applying the oxygen-rich healing treatment to their sports-related injuries and even going beyond just using it for injuries.

How Do Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments Benefit Athletes?

When an athlete enters one of the pressurized hyperbaric chambers, like the ones at NexGen Hyperbaric, the athlete breathes in 100% pure oxygen. By doing so, the oxygen levels of the blood plasma and hemoglobin are increased by up to 25 times. This increase causes the red blood cells to become more malleable, enhancing their ability to reach restricted blood vessels. The cells and tissue suddenly receive the oxygen needed for regeneration and healing.

Athletes can recover more quickly after an intense workout and increase their performance because of these elevated oxygen levels. During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the system flushes out lactic acid, the cause of muscle fatigue.

1. Active Recovery

Athletes are constantly moving, constantly putting strain and stress on the body through practices, training sessions, conditioning, and competitions. But in order to recover after putting their bodies through so much strenuous activity, most athletes are just told to “rest”. But if one wants to improve his athletic performance, merely lounging around isn’t a suitable recovery strategy. Passive recovery strategies are never a good idea for athletes interested in optimizing their performance. An active recovery therapy like hyperbaric oxygen therapy is much more effective.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help speed up healing and recovery times so much that you can think of it as pressing a healing fast-forward button. There are so many benefits for athletes that HBOT can provide. Faster bone or cartilage regeneration, increased stem cell activation, and reduced muscle fatigue are just a few benefits of HBOT for athletes. It is all accomplished by the high levels of oxygen permeating tissues.

2. Healing & Treating Injuries

Most athletes (whether amateur or professional) cannot avoid either minor or major injuries. It’s just a part of their everyday lives. Instances of possible bodily harm for athletes can include:

  • Injuries incurred during contact sports.
  • Joints stress caused while running.
  • Tendon pain while engaging in sports like rock climbing.

The most recommended treatment across the board and no matter what the injury is usually to rest, rest some more, and finally to… rest. However, with technological advances available to athletes via hyperbaric oxygen therapy, athletes are able to take a more active part in their healing process.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps injured tissue absorb a highly concentrated amount of oxygen. A single 60-90 minute hyperbaric oxygen therapy session can significantly oxygenate an athlete’s blood, plasma, and brain fluids. It increases circulation and healing wherever it is needed.

3. Treating Compartment Syndrome

A disorder known as compartment syndrome can affect joggers, long-distance runners, and even casual runners. It is a rare occurrence but is very painful and can be very dangerous.

Comp compartment syndrome can occur when excessive pressure builds up inside an enclosed muscle space within the body. It is usually a result of excessive bleeding or swelling after an injury. Obstructed blood flow to and from the affected tissues causes dangerously high pressure.

A hyperbaric oxygen chamber may effectively prevent this condition because of its high-oxygen environment.

4. Boosting Performance

Some athletes exercise at higher elevations to improve their endurance by boosting red blood cell formation and the blood’s oxygen capacity. It also helps them build stamina when performing at lower altitude locations. They do this in the hope that it will give them an edge against competitors who need to implement this strategy. Many athletes are now turning to hyperbaric oxygen therapy to increase their circulation and blood oxygenation to see similar benefits.

Additional Read: Double-Blind Controlled Study on Effects of HBOT on Physical Performance of Middle-Aged Athletes

5. Increasing Mental Focus

Physical strength and skill are all well and good, but competing takes a bit more than that. A true athlete knows the importance of stamina, mental clarity, and focus. Having those things will allow an athlete to perform at their very best. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help improve mental focus and clear the pesky problem of brain fog.

6. Concussion and TBI Treatment

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) positively affects athletes dealing with concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). HBOT works by increasing the oxygen concentration in the body, which enhances delivery to all tissues and organs. Doing this helps those injured athletes to heal faster, reduce inflammation, improve blood circulation, and reduce oxidative stress. The effects of hyperbaric oxygen are especially beneficial for athletes who have long training cycles and need quick recovery from injuries or strains suffered as part of their careers. These amazing benefits have led to the increasing popularity of HBOT as a choice among concussed athletes, with its effects being noticeable almost immediately.

An Athlete’s (Nina O’Brien) Point of View on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Professional Alpine Ski Racer, Nina O’Brien, shares how she utilizes Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at All Points North Lodge to recover from training.

As an eight-time national champion, American World Cup competitor, and future Olympian, Nina constantly works to improve her strength and endurance. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy allows Nina to recover more quickly to get the most out of her training. Nina not only physically recovers better after two hours of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, but she’s also noticed a significant improvement in her mental health.

“We’re fighting for that extra piece and edge, and that’s where the mental game and the mental training come in so you can perform at your best. And what’s cool is that NexGen’s Hyperbaric oxygen therapy plays a huge role in helping me increase my focus and concentration and maximize my biggest performance moments. I think hyperbaric oxygen therapy is becoming an essential part of my training.” -Nina O’Brien.

NexGen Hyperbaric is proud to support Nina with her training needs and is so glad that she’s made her recovery and mental health a priority. Check out the full video of a professional athlete, Nina O’Brien, discussing NexGen’s Hyperbaric Therapy sessions below.

Find Out More by Contacting Us Today

NexGen Hyperbaric, a premier provider of evidence-based hyperbaric oxygen therapy, is recognized for offering a proven adjunct treatment modality for many conditions. NexGen Hyperbaric has launched to take the advanced potential of hyperbaric oxygen beyond hospitals. We wanted to make the new treatment options accessible to people whose quality of life can benefit as soon as emerging science supports it.

Launched in 2004, NexGen’s clinical healthcare and operations management organization has two successful business units. NexGen Hyperbaric provides outpatient care in standalone hyperbaric clinics, and the Center for Wound Healing primarily provides hospital-based care in on-site clinics. In addition to serving a wide range of athletes as a routine part of being a leading provider of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, we are also actively supporting elite endurance athletes competing in world-class events in our hometown in Colorado. NexGen Hyperbaric is the official Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Services provider for the Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek. We are proud and excited to play a small part in helping elite athletes return more quickly to peak mental and physical conditions.

Whether you’re a professional athlete, a jogger, a rock climber, an amateur surfer, or anything in between, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be for you. Take advantage of the physical healing, the mental focus, and the performance boost you need and deserve. NexGen Hyperbaric can help.

If you’d like to learn more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy and how it can help you as an athlete or more info about the chambers used for the oxygen treatment, feel free to contact NexGen Hyperbaric.