Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Can Effectively Treat Fibromyalgia
By Kirsten Cowart
If you or someone you know struggles with Fibromyalgia, then you know that it feels like you are opening a whole can of worms into the unknown when you are first diagnosed.
First of all, Fibromyalgia is extremely hard to diagnose. Once you are diagnosed with this chronic pain syndrome, it can be difficult to figure out what caused it and how to treat it.
1 in 70 people (mostly women) in the U.S. have fibromyalgia. Researchers have seen trends in the disorder that lead them to believe that neurological infection, severe emotional stress, or a head trauma may be what originally triggered the issue.
Fibromyalgia often presents itself as musculoskeletal pain, memory loss, mood swings and fatigue. Because it is often misdiagnosed, people with fibromyalgia will sometimes suffer for months or even years before knowing what is going on.
Traditional medicine has found very little in the way of effective long-term treatments and that is why it is very exciting to announce that hyperbaric oxygen treatment has made a major breakthrough.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment For Fibromyalgia
A recent article written by Tel Aviv University researchers and published in PLOS ONE may have just found the answer we have been looking for when it comes to treating chronic pain. They found that women that tried the hyperbaric oxygen treatment were able to drastically reduce or completely eliminate their use of pain medication.
If you or someone you know suffers from fibromyalgia, this news is almost too good to be true. Imagine a life without pain meds, without the constant struggle, side-effects and frustration that comes from needing these pills just to function.
A New Discovery About The Cause Of Fibromyalgia
Researchers from many different universities teamed up for this monumental study. They believe that they have found the primary factor that causes fibromyalgia, which is a disruption of the brain mechanism that processes pain.
“As a physician, the most important finding for me is that 70 percent of the patients could recover from their fibromyalgia symptoms,” said Dr. Efrati. “The most exciting finding for the world of research, however, is that we were able to map the malfunctioning brain regions responsible for the syndrome.”
High-Pressure Oxygen Solution
When you are in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, you are exposed to higher-than-atmospheric pressured oxygen. Typically this type of treatment is used for burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, embolisms and decompression sickness.
60 women participated in the clinical trials where they each had around 40 different 90-minute treatments in the chamber over a time period of 2 months. The women were treated 5 days a week with oxygen at double the normal atmospheric pressure. The researchers found significant changes in the symptoms and brain activity of 70% of these women.
“The intake of [the pain medication they were taking] eased the pain but did not reverse the condition. But hyperbaric oxygen treatments did reverse the condition,” said Dr. Efrati.
Getting To The Core Of The Problem
“The results are of significant importance,” said Dr. Efrati. “Hyperbaric oxygen treatments are designed to address the actual cause of fibromyalgia – the brain pathology responsible for the syndrome. It means that brain repair, including neuronal regeneration, is possible even for chronic, long-lasting pain syndromes and we can and should aim for that in any future treatment development.”
There was some difference in the patients results. For example, when the cause of the fibromyalgia was a traumatic brain injury, then the researchers found a complete resolution of symptoms without the need of further treatment.
If the cause for fibromyalgia was different, such as fever-related diseases, patients still needed a little maintenance therapy moving forward.
Researchers plan to continue studying the effects of the chamber on patients and learn more about how the oxygen treatment helps heal brain and nerve tissue.
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. “High-pressure oxygen can effectively treat fibromyalgia: New treatment for pain syndrome reduces or eliminates need for medication.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150714124907.htm>.
Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
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