Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a type of treatment that involves a person breathing highly concentrated oxygen while in a chamber pressurized at a higher level of atmospheric pressure. This floods their tissues with oxygen, revitalizing their cells and enhancing the body’s natural healing process.
According to Mayo Clinic, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. In normal situations, oxygen is moved throughout the body only by red blood cells. However with HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body’s fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and the bone. Oxygen can then reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process. The increased oxygen significantly enhances the ability of while blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces inflammation and allows new blood vessels to grow faster into the affected areas.
Many areas of the body can’t take place without proper oxygen levels in the tissue. Most illnesses and injuries occur and often stay at the cellular or tissue level. In many cases, sufficient oxygen can’t reach the damaged area and the body’s natural healing ability is unable to function correctly. And HBOT provides this extra oxygen naturally!
When brain cells die from either trauma or lack of oxygen, blood plasma leaks out into the surrounding brain tissue causing swelling and reducing blood flow. These otherwise normal cells go dormant because they can’t function without the appropriate amount of oxygen. HBOT considerably increases the oxygen carried in the blood plasma, making it available to heal damaged capillary walls, preventing plasma leakage and reducing swelling. The reduced swelling allows blood flow to be restored to the dormant tissue and these cells then have the potential to function once again.
In cerebral palsy (CP) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients, some of the injured brain tissues may be dormant and non-functioning like mentioned above. In young children, cognitive function and spasticity can be improved. And combining HBOT with other therapies gives children with CP and TBI the best recovery possible.