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HBO Therapy
3 Replies
Canada17 - February 1

No, not the station.

Hyper-Baric Oxygen Therapy (HBO Therapy).

There has been research done that has shed some light on the pain and symptoms that go along with Fibromyalgia (FM).

Researchers have found that we suffer from hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), which accounts for muscles aches and pains, and cognitive impairment. They still don't know if hypoxia is a cause of FM or if it's a result of FM.

A blind, placebo, controlled study was done with FM patients. Half were given HBO Therapy and half were given the placebo. Those who received HBO Therapy reported an improved quality of life after 15 sessions over those who received the placebo.

HBO Therapy is not for the claustrophobic. You have to spend 90 minutes and a hyper-baric chamber with an oxygen mask on, breathing in 100% oxygen. There are certain things you cannot wear (types of fabric, jewelry, etc.) as they could ignite (not something you want when dealing with oxygen).

This is something I am going to be looking into with my doctor. I know there are a couple of clinics in my area which offer HBO Therapy but I don't know if it would be covered by my insurance as I doubt they would consider it a "reasonable and customary" treatment.

I also don't know how frequently you would need to have the treatment before getting results. (a hour and a half is a long time to take off work even just once a month) Also, it is something that would have to be continued, this is by no means a cure. Perhaps and effective treatment though?


Noca - February 2

Before doing this therapy I would have a blood work done to determine your hemoglobin levels and if they are indeed low.


Canada17 - February 2

The study (which I found in the Journal of International Medical Research) says the following:

"The oxygen pressure in the tissues of tender muscles and the total mean oxygen pressure in the
subcutaneous tissue of patients with FMS are
significantly lower than in normal controls. This suggests that the hypoxic condition is not imited to the tender muscles. Jeschonneck et al. studied tender points in patients with FMS and concluded
that vasoconstriction occurs in the skin above the tender points. This supports the hypothesis that FMS is related to local hypoxia in the skin covering the tender points."

Include this with the fact that many Fibromyalgia patients do not have clinical abnormalities to attribute to their pain. And, this is due largely in part to the fact that the tests used cannot measure the minuscule differences in our physiology vs. that of the people who do not have Fibromyalgia.

So, a blood test may not show a low level of oxygen in your blood. And, if it is localized hypoxia I don't know if that could be seen with blood work or if a test on the specific areas would have to be done.

We should always discuss treatment options with our doctors and have any necessary testing done beforehand.

I also think there are probably other medical conditions or potentially medications that would make the risks of HBO Therapy outweigh the benefits.

This is still a remarkable discovery on the FMS front.


ptalana - February 2

Very interesting.... thanks for sharing the info Canada. Keeping my hopes high that research such as this continues:) Patty



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