FEB 1, 2016 Are you an athlete looking to have a faster recovery following intense training or a competitive event? Have you experienced muscle strains, osteoarthritis or even on the path to a joint replacement surgery? Whatever you are facing, the key to optimize your performance may be Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – HBOT.
The 2016 Australian Open is over and #1 World tennis player, Novak Djokovic won his record sixth title in the Australian Open. After the semifinals he stated, “I’m at the peak of my career, and am enjoying it at the moment.” What is his secret to a fast recovery following each tennis match, some lasting more than four hours? Following the tennis matches, Djokovic is reported to use the cutting edge technology of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to aid in recovery. When asked about his usage of HBOT, Djokovic said, “I think this (chamber) really helped. Not for the muscles, but more for recovering after an exhausting match.It is like a spaceship, a very interesting technology,” said Djokovic. HBOT has long been used with scuba diver’s recovery, but is now being widely used in numerous athletic avenues.
Doctor Roy Schmidt, Medical Director of New Life Medical Clinic in Jackson, TN, serving Nashville, TN, states HBOT “provides the optimal atmosphere for your own body to promote its own vital cell processes, thus leading to an increased capacity to heal itself.”
He also added, “We have seen remarkable results from patients who benefit from HBOT treatment from professional hockey athletes to high school athletes, or patients with ‘run of the mill’ arthritis. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is also beneficial during pre and post-operative periods, because of its ability to reduce swelling.”
The use of HBOT in the rehabilitation and training of athletes is a new and exciting adjunct to traditional methods. The rapid reoxygenation of tissues, both injured and stressed by exercise will benefit from increased pressures of oxygen that are delivered through hyperbaric oxygen exposures.
Djokovic is not the only athlete who has turned to HBOT to aid in recovery from intense training, and to aid in healing of tissue damage. Michael Phelps, 16-time Olympic medalist, has used HBOT for over a year and has noticed “it helps him recover.” Tim Tebow, Darren Sharper, James Harrison, Terrell Owens and Hines Ward are others who have benefited from HBOT. Pittsburg Steelers, James Harrison stated, “It’s simple – I have a hyperbaric chamber that I use to rejuvenate myself. The days that I don’t do it (HBOT), I don’t have that extra oomph,” he said.
A sports injury can be devastating to a professional athlete’s career. Professional athletes that are forced to miss practice or competition due to injury can face being cut from their team or face the consequence of contracts not being renewed. A professional athlete’s success is largely due to their body’s ability to perform at the highest level, and many are turning to HBOT for quicker recovery from injuries and intense training.
Professional athletes are not the only individuals who can benefit from HBOT. High school athletes suffering from a muscle strain or even a concussion can benefit from HBOT to increase healing and aid in faster recovery, and you can read more about it here. Many patients who have faced a knee replacement or chronic joint pain have found that after several treatments of HBOT they are now pain free, and you can read about one such patient here. The majority of sports related injuries involve strains and sprains, which cause swelling and edema (accumulation of excess fluid in connective tissue). Coupling HBOT with traditional rehabilitation methods allows healing time to be significantly reduced permitting athletes to return to training and competition much faster.