By Joe Borlinha
April 1, 2016
Posted In: General Wellness, White Rock
Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal disorder arising from poor oxygenation of the muscle tender points and the skin overlying these points and is characterized by pain at these specific areas of the body. An abnormality in how the brain processes pain leads to amplification of the pain, further exacerbating the symptoms. This is accompanied by numerous symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, irritable bowel syndrome, stiffness, muscle spasm, cognitive or memory impairment, anxiety, depression, and functional impairment.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder characterized by a fatigue of more than 6 months, accompanied by symptoms of cognitive or memory impairment, muscle pain, joint pain, sleep disturbance, and excessive post-exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours.
The body normally delivers oxygen to the tissues by the red blood cells in the blood. But with Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (breathing oxygen under pressure) oxygen is dissolved into all the bodily fluids, thus the cerebral fluid, spinal fluid, lymph fluid, intracellular fluid and the blood plasma all absorb high levels of oxygen. This increases oxygen levels to all the body tissue including areas with poor or compromised blood supply.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can break the vicious cycle of pain by delivering much needed oxygen to the dysfunctional muscles. Studies have shown that 40 hyperbaric oxygen sessions can correct the brain’s pain processing function. Hyperbaric oxygen acts on the root of the problem to improve the symptoms and quality of life of people with fibromyalgia.
With chronic fatigue syndrome, the therapy improves oxygen delivery to the brain, thus reducing the severity of symptoms as well as improving exercise capacity and quality of life.
Benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Shifts abnormal pain processing and brain activity pattern to healthy patterns
• Delivers oxygen to muscles & skin stopping breaking the pain caused by low oxygen
• Prevents lactic acid build-up in the muscle, thereby reducing muscle fatigue
• Improves exercise capacity
• Down-regulates nitric oxide (a potent signaling molecule thought to be involved in pain processing) in the brain, potentially aiding to decrease pain intensity
• Decreases severity of symptoms and improves quality of life
Health Canada recognizes Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for 13 different medical conditions but the therapy is used for over 100 conditions worldwide, ranging from stroke recovery, circulatory disorders, heart disease, infections and all forms of healing. All conditions have one thing in common: the affected areas are not getting enough life-sustaining oxygen.