Hyperbaric oxygen as an adjuvant for athletes.


Ishii Y, Deie M, Adachi N, Yasunaga Y, Sharman P, Miyanaga Y, Ochi M.

Sports Med. 2005;35(9):739-46.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan. yoishii@hiroshima-u.ac.jp


There has recently been a resurgence in interest in hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment in sports therapy, especially in Japan. Oxygen naturally plays a crucial role in recovery from injury and physiological fatigue. By performing HBO treatment, more oxygen is dissolved in the plasma of the pulmonary vein via the alveolar, increasing the oxygen reaching the peripheral tissues. HBO treatment is therefore expected to improve recovery from injury and fatigue. HBO treatment has been reported to reduce post-injury swelling in animals, and in humans; swelling was also mitigated, but to a lesser extent. Positive results have also been reported regarding tissue remodeling after injury, with injuries involving bones, muscles and ligaments showing improved recovery. Furthermore, HBO treatment has effectively increased recovery from fatigue. This was clearly seen at the Nagano Winter Olympics, where sports players experiencing fatigue were successfully treated, enabling the players to continue performing in the games. Despite its potential, HBO treatment does have its risks. Increasing oxygen levels in tissues poses a risk to DNA through oxidative damage, which can lead to pathological changes in the CNS and the lungs. Regarding the operating of HBO systems, safer administration should be advised. Further research into HBO treatment is required if this therapy is to become more widespread. It should become possible to tailor treatment to an individual's condition in order to use HBO treatment efficiently.


The role of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in sports medicine.


Babul S, Rhodes EC.

British Columbia Injury Research and Prevention Unit, British Columbia Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


During the past decade, we have seen a growing number of individuals participating in sport and recreational activities. All indications show an increase in sport participation at every age level. However, the number of sport and recreational injuries as a result of this increase has also risen. Unfortunately, a primary cost related to injury recovery is the time lost from participating in and resuming normal functional activity. This has compelled health care professionals to seek more efficient and effective therapeutic interventions in treating such injuries. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy may serve to provide a means of therapy to facilitate a speedier resumption to pre-injury activity levels as well as improve the short and long term prognosis of the injury. Although a growing interest in sports medicine is becoming evident in the literature, the use of HBO as an intervention in this field has received a great deal of cynicism. To date, numerous professional athletic teams, including hockey (NHL), football (NFL), basketball (NBA) and soccer (MLS), utilize and rely on the use of HBO as adjuvant therapy for numerous sports-related injuries acquired from playing competitive sports. However, to date, very little has been published on the application benefits of hyperbaric therapy and sports injuries. The majority of clinical studies examining the efficacy of HBO in treating soft tissue injuries have been limited in their sample size and study design. Further research needs to be conducted suggesting and validating the significant effects of this treatment modality and further grounding its importance in sports medicine.


Hyperbaric oxygenation and blood lactate clearance: study in sixty male naval cadets.


Sueblinvong T, Egtasaeng N, Sanguangrangsirikul S.

J Med Assoc Thai. 2004 Sep;87 Suppl 2:S218-22.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.


The research was aimed to study the effects of a 30 minute exposure to 2.5 ATA with 100% O2-inhalation on lactate concentration after muscular fatigue from incremental exercise on a cycle ergometer The subjects were 60 male naval cadets aged 20-23 years whose physical fitness was equivalent to the average athletes. All volunteers participated in the first VO2 max exercise test to obtain their baseline data and randomly assigned into 3 groups of 20. The 3 groups were: Rest recovery group (RR), Oxygen recovery group (OR), and the Hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO2) recovery group (HR). The volunteers took the incremental exercise test (Ordinary Lamp Protocol) on a cycle ergometer to exhaustion, then rested according to the above assigned groups. Blood samples were taken from each volunteer before the experiment, at exhaustion and every 5-minute intervals after the exhaustion for 30 minutes and immediately assayed for lactate concentration. The results showed significant decrease of blood lactate concentration at 15, 20, and 25 minutes intervals after the exhaustion in the HR group compared to the others. It might be initially concluded that HBO2 enhanced the rate of lactate removal from peripheral blood vessels, therefore it shortened the recovery time.


Effects of hyperbaric oxygen and platelet derived growth factor on medial collateral ligament fibroblasts.


Chan YS, Chen AC, Yuan LJ, Lin SS, Yang CY, Lee MS, Ueng SW.

Undersea Hyperb Med. 2007 May-Jun;34(3):181-90.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 5, Fu-Hsing St. 333, Kweishan, Taoyuan, Taiwan.


PURPOSE: This study investigated hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) and platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) to determine their combined effects on fibroblasts from rabbit medial collateral ligament (MCL). METHOD: Cells were divided into four groups: (I) Control, (II) HBO2 treatment, (III) PDGF-BB treatment and (IV) HBO2 combined with PDGF-BB treatment. All hyperoxic cells were exposed to 100% O2 at 2.5 atmospheres absolute (ATA) in a hyperbaric chamber for 120 minutes per 48 hours. Measurement of cell growth was based on increase in cell number. Cell cycle modulations were analyzed by fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS). Quantity of Type I and Type III collagen was determined by western blotting and image analyzer. RESULTS: Treatment doses of HBO2 alone or PDGF-bb alone dependently increased cell growth. A combination of HBO2 treatment plus PDGF-bb treatment had an additive effect on cell growth in comparison with HBO2 treatment alone or PDGF-bb treatment alone. FACS analysis revealed that HBO2 alone, PDGF-bb alone and PDGF-bb plus HBO2 treatment increase the percentage of cells accumulated in S-phase. Western blotting analysis revealed that Type III collagen content was decreased significantly after HBO2 treatment alone or HBO2 plus PDGF-bb treatment but not in PDGF-bb treatment alone. In contrast, although Type I collagen content was increased after HBO2 treatment, the increase in Type I collagen (increase /original) was not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: HBO2 or HBO2 plus PDGF-bb treatment decreases the Type III collagen/Type I collagen content, which could result in mechanically stronger collagen fibrils. We propose HBO2 therapy as a potentially effective treatment for MCL healing.