Due to their frequency and serious nature, many athletes and coaches are looking for new ways to treat and heal sports-related injuries. Many of these injuries, in large part, are characterized by inflammation and pain, which consequently are two issues that hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to reduce. HBOT stimulates the genesis of new skin, bone, and blood vessels, which accelerates healing after injuries or surgery. Many athletes use HBOT for post-workout recovery because it lessens the feeling of fatigue as well as reduces the lactic acid that builds up from the workout. Overall, the injuries or physical strain received as a result of training or accidents are easily treated with the addition of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Another important find is the impact HBOT has on brain trauma. Due to the physical nature of sports, concussions, and TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) are an ever-present risk to athletes. Brain trauma often involves brain cell damage caused either by the physical trauma itself, edema (swelling) or hypoxia (low oxygen). Many HBOT studies have reported improvement in TBI and concussion symptoms, with treatment occurring days, months, or even years post-concussion. When HBOT is administered, new blood vessels and brain cells are created, which halts apoptosis as well as healing the brain. Subjects in these studies reported improved cognition, memory, and quality of life