Hyperbaric Treatment for Fibromyalgia


For decades there have been rumors of celebrities sleeping in hyperbaric chambers for the health benefits. It is rumored to make you look younger, reduce wrinkles, improve health, and some claim that it can help the brain trauma associated with certain sports. Celebrity rumors range from athletes, actors, and musicians, and includes the King of Pop himself. hyperbaric treatment is traditionally used to treat “the bends,” or decompression sickness, that happens when scuba divers ascend from great depths too quickly. New research shows that hyperbaric treatment may be useful for treating Fibromyalgia, and many other conditions as well. Here is a look at what hyperbaric treatment is, how it works, and how it may be able to help fibromyalgia.

What is it?

A hyperbaric chamber is a sealed and pressurized chamber that increases air pressure up to three times the outside/normal air pressure. The result is that your lungs are able to take in and absorb more oxygen. Therefore, the oxygen in your blood increases, and the body transports more oxygen to your tissues. This treatment is very effective in treating many forms of surface skin damage, including tissue death, infection, burns, spider bites, and even helps healing after a skin graft. This method is being applied to several diseases and disorders in recent years. The increase in oxygen to the tissues of the body stimulates the production of growth factors and stem cells that promote healing, and are the cutting edge technology in healing sports injuries. It also helps to fight bacteria, and improve blood pressure and blood gasses.

How can hyperbaric treatment help?

A new study at the University of Tel Aviv in association with Rice University has shown that Hyperbaric treatment substantially improved fibromyalgia symptoms, and may also “induce neuroplasticity and significantly rectify abnormal brain activity in pain related areas of FMS (fibromyalgia) patients.” In other words, it may correct the abnormal brain activities that regulate the nerve activity that possibly causes Fibro. The subjects of the study were evaluated on several criteria including pain tolerance, tender point count, and several areas of quality of life. Significant improvement was seen across all of these areas. So far, this is the only study that has been done on hyperbaric treatment for Fibro, so more research needs to be done to make this treatment an accepted treatment for fibro (i.e. before it is covered by insurance). However, there are several non-medical facilities where you can pay for a session in a hyperbaric chamber, so you can try it out without a medical referral if you want to experience it for yourself. A simple internet search can help you find Hyperbaric facilities in your area.

Hopefully this treatment will continue to show promising results for Fibromyalgia. Have you ever tried Hyperbaric treatment for fibro? If so, please let us know what your results were in the comments.