HBOT is a medical therapy in which a person lays in an inflatable chamber in an increased atmospheric pressure environment. The pressure reaches between 1.1 and 1.5 atmospheres, or 1-4 PSI (pounds per square inch).
The increase in pressure increases the concentration of oxygen to increase oxygenation throughout the body. mHBOT has many healing and therapeutic benefits. Mild hyperbaric chambers use filtered ambient air, which is the air we breathe everyday and therefore, the chamber can be utilized without the danger of oxygen toxicity. mHBOT is completely safe and can be combined with most other therapies without the side effects associated with other treatments.
If the sport you play includes football, tennis, baseball, golf, running, jogging, athletics or any other kind of physical activity, you may benefit from HBOT. If you have suffered an injury of any kind and are seeing a physical therapist, HBOT may be an excellent adjunct therapy to help speed up the healing process.
Athletic performance is highly dependent on the physical condition of the athlete. The Hyperbaric chamber allows the athlete to recover more quickly and improves general health, which leads to greater physical performance. In a study involving soccer players in Scotland, the time it takes to recover from joint, muscle, ligament, tendon, and other types of injuries was reduced by 70% when the players were treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy along with physical therapy.
More and more athletes are taking control of their recovery and coming back stronger than ever using hyperbaric oxygen therapy. A hyperbaric oxygen chamber creates an environment of increased pressure, which forces greater amounts of oxygen into the body. This higher concentration of oxygen reaches the blood supply, organs, injured muscle and bone tissue, damaged tendons and joints, supporting the body’s natural healing process at a much faster rate. In effect, recovery times are reduced, performance is improved, and endurance is enhanced. In fact, the effectiveness of hyperbaric therapy has been well documented. Consequently, professional NBA, NHL, and NFL teams (including the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys) currently utilize hyperbaric chambers for player therapy.
Athletes Using Hyperbaric Therapy
Many athletes from various levels are discovering the benefits of hyperbaric therapy to strengthen performance and endurance. In addition, hyperbaric has been used by several sports professionals to recover from injuries and rebound from workouts.
Terrell Owens’ use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as seen on MTV’s ‘Cribs’
Terrell Owens allowed MTV cameras into his Atlanta-area home for a profile of the home-life of a professional athlete. During the episode of the show called ‘Cribs’, Owens disclosed his secret weapon for endurance and quick injury recovery in the high stakes game of professional football- his mild hyperbaric chamber. Owens divulged his use of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which assists in healing and talked about the great benefits he has received from the treatment.
The episode featured the Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver demonstrating the use of the chamber, which he uses to in his bedroom for performance enhancement, injury recovery and to prepare for the season.
A critical part of this athletic training is keeping the muscles strong and healthy to avoid injury. In endurance based sports, such as long distance running, it is also important for the athlete to physically peak at the right time to outperform all of their competitors. Thus, the training schedule must incorporate carefully timed periods of rest and recuperation to guarantee that muscles will not be overtired when it is time to compete. These recovery periods are necessary because even athletes’ bodies have physiological limitations.
Overcoming Performance Limitations
An athlete’s performance is limited by the amount of energy their body produces. Every aspect of athleticism, from strength and muscle control to reaction time and mental acuity, requires energy. The body’s energy is generated by the mitochondria in our cells. These components of our cells are like tiny factories that help convert the beneficial nutrients we consume into energy that our muscles can use. This process, called Krebs cycle, uses oxygen to convert proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into water, carbon dioxide, and usable energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the main energy transfer molecule in our cells. By optimizing the metabolism of an athlete to exploit these cellular energy pathways, their performance can be naturally enhanced.
The rigors of physical training can also strain the muscles and limit performance. Even in the absence of injury, athletes frequently experience muscle soreness following workouts. This muscle discomfort is due to tiny tears in the muscle tissues that occur during exertion. Allowing these minor tears to heal is necessary for building strength and keeping the muscles healthy to prevent injury. In a sense, athletes are limited in how quickly they can build strength by the speed with which they recover from their normal workouts. Improving the rate of cell repair can accelerate healing of muscle tissue, allowing additional practice to be added to the training regimen. This strategy potentially allows the athlete more time honing skills particular to their sport at a lower expense to their muscle health.
Simple matters of physical health can also limit sports performance. A wide variety of minor medical conditions can affect the quality of cell repair and metabolic balance, and increase the overall stresses that exercise creates within the body. Full health optimization can help lift these barriers, eliminating all obstacles between the athlete and their physical goals.