In simple terms, arthritis is defined as inflammation of the joints, however, with over 100 known types, it’s a much more complicated condition than it appears. An arthritis diagnosis may stem from general wear and tear on any of the joints, an autoimmune disorder, an infection or many other underlying conditions. The most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Gout. Diseases that commonly include arthritis as a co-condition include Lupus, sepsis, Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Hypothyroidism, tendonitis, and much more. All of these conditions either directly deteriorate the cartilage and other tissue around the joints or trigger the immune system to attack the joints as if the tissue were a foreign invader.
All forms of arthritis may cause a spectrum of symptoms that may get worse as the triggering condition progresses. Common symptoms include joint swelling, redness, rash, pain (throbbing, burning, numbing), loss of mobility or complete function of affected joint and fever. For patients with autoimmune disorders or infections, these symptoms may fluctuate as their condition “flares” over time.
Because arthritis is inflammatory, it’s a commonly treated condition with hyperbaric therapy. The primary modality of HBOT is its ability to influence up to 8,101 different genes, including the genes that trigger and turn off the inflammatory process as well as the subsequent cellular cleanup. According to Dr. Dan Rossignol, a 1 hour treatment in a hyperbaric chamber produces the equivalent anti-inflammatory power as 12,000mg of Motrin without the toxic side effects. Hyperbarics has been researched and prescribed for many of the co-conditions that trigger arthritis as well. Some patients report decrease in their pain, swelling and mobility dysfunction and a better quality of life after a series of treatments.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is comparable to acetylsalicylic acid treatment in an animal model of arthritis.
Wilson HD, Toepfer VE, Senapati AK, Wilson JR, Fuchs PN.
J Pain. 2007 Dec;8(12):924-30. Epub 2007 Aug 9.Department of Psychology,
University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas 76109, USA.
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States are affected by the pain, disability, and decreased quality of life associated with arthritis. The primary focus of treatment is on reducing joint inflammation and pain through a variety of pharmacotherapies, each of which is associated with various side effects.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an alternative treatment that has been recommended to treat a variety of inflammatory diseases, ranging from chronic brain injury to exercise induced muscle soreness. The purpose of this set of experiments was to explore the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on joint inflammation and mechanical hyperalgesia in an animal model of arthritis, and compare these effects to treatment with aspirin. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly reduced both joint inflammation and hyperalgesia. As compared with aspirin treatment, hyperbaric treatment was equally as effective in decreasing joint inflammation and hyperalgesia.
PERSPECTIVE: This article reports that hyperbaric oxygen treatment decreases pain and inflammation in an animal model of arthritis. The effect of hyperbaric oxygen treatment is very similar in magnitude to the effect of acetylsalicylic acid treatment. Potentially, hyperbaric oxygen could be used to treat pain and inflammation in patients with arthritis.
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Here's a great informative video.
Sit, Michelle T. MD*; Schmidt, Thomas W. MD†; Edmonds, Lance D. MD*; Kelly, Jason A. MD‡; Sky, Karen M. MD§; Thornton, Jennifer A. PhD‡; McNeary-Garvin, Antoinette M. MSN‡; Thom, Stephen R. MD, PhD∥; Slade, John B. MD‡
This case series pilot study assessed the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO2) for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Ten RA subjects received 30 HBO2 treatments over 6 to 10 weeks. Serial rheumatologic evaluations (ie, the Disease Activity Scale [DAS28], the Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data 3, and the Pain and Sleep Quality Questionnaire) were completed at baseline, throughout the course of the study, and at the 6-month follow-up.
There was a statistically significant effect of HBO2 therapy over time on the DAS28–Global Health (p = 0.01), the DAS28–C-reactive protein (p = 0.002), and the DAS28–erythrocyte sedimentation rate (p = 0.008) measures; these analyses excluded 2 patients who were in clinical remission at baseline. Selected post hoc comparisons showed significantly lower DAS28–Global Health, DAS28–C-reactive protein, and DAS28–erythrocyte sedimentation rate scores at 3 and 6 months relative to baseline. In addition, statistically significant decreases in pain as measured by the Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data 3 and Pain and Sleep Quality Questionnaire were observed at the end of HBO2 relative to baseline.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is effective for joint pain in patients with RA based on data from multiple, validated clinical measures. Further research with more subjects and the use of a control group is necessary.
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For 35 of 50 patients with rheumatoid arthritis traditional drug therapy was a minor success for a long time. Without any modifications of the drug therapy every patient went through a course of hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO): 21 sessions under 1.7 ata for 40 min. Good clinical results both immediate and remote have been obtained. The effect of HBO on the immune system of the patients has intensified the suppressive function of T-lymphocytes (especially with systemic symptoms of the disease), normalized cell-bound immunity and decreased the serum concentration in immune complexes.
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