Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Research done by countries like the United States, Italy, Argentina, Germany, Scotland, United Kingdom, France, Russia, and a host of others have discovered that hyperbaric oxygen for multiple sclerosis is a viable avenue of treatment. These studies have shown that people find relief by from a range of symptoms by breathing pure oxygen while under increased air pressure. The theory is that this method helps to slow down the progression of the disease. The history of this procedure got its start in British centers in the early 90s, and now there are more than sixty centers of its kind set up all through the UK, which provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy for multiple sclerosis, also known as HBO. In America, the first centers that offered this type of treatment were at clinical trials in New York in 1980, The early trials that were initiated there showed promising improvements in symptoms and a slowing of the degenerative effects caused by the effects of multiple sclerosis. Back on the other side of the pond, British centers have been providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy for over 14 years, providing treatment for over 1.5 million people suffering from MS, and additionally treating people that are afflicted with gangrene and wounds that typically take longer to heal, from children with cerebral palsy, and men and women suffering from sports injuries.

The word hyperbaric is actually a compound of two words: ‘hyper’, which means increased, and ‘baric’, which means related to pressure. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for multiple sclerosis requires regular visits to centers which offer the treatment. The recommended number of visits per month is about three of four times a month. The therapy is done in a metal chamber that is large enough to fit approximately eight people, who spend an hour under pressure, breathing through masks the pure oxygen that is pumped in by an operator. As they are in the chamber, they can carry out normal activities: reading, writing, playing cards. The operators of the hyperbaric chambers are skilled with the equipment and have access to a specialist medical advisor and a manual to work with. The actual chamber consists of a pressure chamber, which may be flexible or rigid in construction, and delivers 100% pure oxygen. Hyperbaric chambers are not only used for treatment of multiple sclerosis symptoms. It has also been shown to improve the conditions of those suffering from cerebral palsy, another debilitating disease.

The average time spent in the hyperbaric chamber lasts approximately an hour. During this time, about ten times the normal amount of oxygen can be dissolved in the total bloodstream. This increased oxygen boost enables white blood cells in the patient’s body to kill bacteria, which reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into damaged tissue.

As has been noted by many researchers and observers, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not a cure for multiple sclerosis, but it has been shown to be an effective method to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with MS, such as fatigue, immobility, equilibrium issues, incontinence, and speech pathology. For any MS sufferers that are interested in this alternative form of treatment, detailed information is provided at all centers offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy for multiple sclerosis.Once interested parties go to a center, they are a note for their primary care physician to include the treatments as part of their therapy. The note also includes information on nutrition and there will be questions directed at the primary care physician about any contra-indicated conditions. In rare instances, an MS symptom will deteriorate and therapy will be discontinued.


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