- Fibromyalgia refers to a condition where a person has muscle and tissue pain across the body.
- There is no known cause or cure for treating fibromyalgia.
- Medicines and other therapies like acupuncture are prescribed to alleviate the symptoms.
- As per research, HBOT has shown promising results in reducing the pain and improving brain chemical balance in patients suffering from fibromyalgia.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition when a person has muscle pains across the body, feels fatigued and gets distressed mentally. This should not be confused with arthritis which is related to bones.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia include:
- Stiff joints and muscles in the morning
- Jaw pain, tiredness in face muscles and stiffness
- Disturbed sleep cycles
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Painful Menstrual periods in women
- Sensitivity to cold or heat
- Pelvic and Urinary Problems
- Skin problems
- Problems with Vision
- Weight gain
- Memory Problems
- Breathing problems etc.
Treatment for Fibromyalgia
There is no cure for fibromyalgia. Current medicines that are available can treat only the symptoms. There are other therapies and lifestyle modifications that are advised to combat fibromyalgia.
- Regular workout / exercise program
- Chiropractic Therapies (Physiotherapy)
- Medicines including low dose anti-depressants.
With the advent of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, several studies have been done on patients suffering from muscle pains due to fibromyalgia. HBOT was very efficient in reducing the pain and tenderness associated with the condition. It is also seen that HBOT can change brain function associated with chronic pain conditions.
What causes Fibromyalgia?
The exact reason that causes fibromyalgia is not know yet. However, experts have noticed changes in central nervous system processes, change/imbalance in chemicals in brain and growth hormones. Patients suffering from fibromyalgia have three times more chemicals that conduct and amplify pain in the body. As a result, brain is signalled that the body is having more pain that it is actually going through. Good thing about fibromyalgia is that it doesn’t get worse with time.
Research results of HBOT for treating Fibromyalgia
In a study performed on patients suffering from fibromyalgia, who were not able to get their symptoms under control with conventional drug therapies were picked and put under trials. The study put the individuals through 20 hyperbaric sessions at a pressure of 2.5 times that of atmospheric pressure. The result in most individuals was highly encouraging as the pain significantly came down.
HBOT has shown a significant improvement in neurogenesis process in the brain that improved brain functioning. It also showed an increase in generation of pain inhibiting chemicals in the body. HBOT has also increased the cell metabolism, reduces oxidation stress, improved mitochondrial function of the cells.