Professional athletes are expected to be in top physical shape at all times. To maintain this optimum level of fitness, athletes are required to follow extensive fitness regimens that are rigorous and push their physical limits during crucial sporting events.
These training programs exert tremendous pressure on the mind and bodies of the athletes. Playing at the highest level is always a cherished dream for every athlete. Any drop in fitness levels can affect the athlete’s performance on the field.
Injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, muscle tears, and bone injuries are a common occurrence, especially whilst playing contact sports such as football or basketball. These sporting injuries can have serious repercussions if left untreated and can hamper the long-term career prospects of an athlete.
Currently, a majority of athletes are opting for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) through a device known as the personal hyperbaric chamber to recover from sports-related injuries that are sustained during training sessions or while participating in competitive sporting events.
What Is Hyperbaric Therapy?
Hyperbaric therapy is an alternative treatment solution that can be adopted alongside other traditional therapies or medication. During the early 1960s’, this therapy was recommended by medical experts to treat burn injuries, decompression sickness in divers, non-healing diabetic wounds, radiation injury, and other such disorders.
In recent years, this treatment solution is being preferred by physicians to treat a wide range of sporting injuries such as muscle sprains, bone fractures, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Most athletes take a long time to recover from sports injuries due to the lack of oxygen in and around the affected area. Hyperbaric therapy can help solve that problem by boosting the supply of oxygen to the injured parts of the body.
How Does Hyperbaric Therapy Work?
For years, oxygen, the main constituent of hyperbaric therapy, has been known to be capable of treating injuries naturally.
During hyperbaric therapy, the athlete is placed in a pressurized capsule known as a hyperbaric chamber. Then, unadulterated oxygen is administered to the patient at pressures that are two to five times greater than normal atmospheric pressure levels.
This process enables the pressurized pure oxygen to dissolve into the bodily fluids and thereby enhance the supply of oxygen to all the injured and infected parts of the body, that had heretofore been deprived of oxygen due to restricted blood flow.
What Is The Duration Of Hyperbaric Therapy?
Hyperbaric therapy is usually prescribed by a qualified expert after evaluating the extent of the injury sustained by the athlete. Hyperbaric therapy can be administered to the patient for a duration that varies between 15 – 90 minutes per session, 4 – 5 times a week, and the treatment can even span a month or two depending on the rate of recovery and the severity of the injury being treated.
The Different Types Of Hyperbaric Chambers In The Market:
There are fixed hyperbaric chambers known as monoplace chambers that are designed for a single user at a given time, as well as multiple chambers, wherein multiple users can undergo HBOT in one single room.
However, there is another popular option known as the personal hyperbaric chamber, which is making waves across the nation, particularly in the sporting community.
What Is A Personal Hyperbaric Chamber?
Personal hyperbaric chambers are increasingly being preferred by sportspersons around the world. A personal hyperbaric chamber is portable and light-weight as it is usually manufactured using soft canvas or acrylic. These devices can be easily assembled at any location and operated by the athletes themselves, without any external help.
Why Must Athletes Invest in a Personal Hyperbaric Chamber?
Top athletes such as Atlanta Braves pitcher Rafael Soriano; Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps; and NY Giants running back Rashad Jennings, and pitcher Jose Veras; are known to regularly undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy to recover from their demanding training schedules.
Joe Namath, another yesteryear great, is known to have sustained several concussions during his 13-year sporting career. Namath is a strong believer in hyperbaric therapy and has undergone more than 120 HBOT sessions. He firmly asserts, “Now I feel sharper than I did in the past.”
Steve Weatherford, a former American football star who regularly undergoes HBOT in his personal hyperbaric chamber, claims that “A hyperbaric chamber reduces swelling, promotes the healing of wounds, helps fight off dangerous infections, and increases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream.”
Here are the four main benefits that athletes achieve by investing in a personal hyperbaric chamber:
- Speedy Recovery From Injury:
The enhanced oxygenation in the bodily fluids during hyperbaric oxygen therapy is believed to encourage tissue growth, reduce inflammation, and support collagen production. All these factors aid the athletes in their recovery process following intense practice sessions.
- Superior Sleep Patterns:
Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for all athletes as it helps their body recover from the physical strain they regularly experience. The calm environs of a personal hyperbaric chamber enable athletes to spend the entire duration of the HBOT session in a relaxed state. Athletes claim to experience sound sleeping habits following their hyperbaric sessions.
- Enhanced Performance:
Athletes report feeling rejuvenated after a hyperbaric session, as the fresh and abundant supply of oxygen is known to significantly enhance energy levels, which in turn helps athletes achieve the desired performance goals.
- Improved Sense Of Well-being:
Hyperbaric therapy is known to significantly reduce stress levels and to also improve energy levels. These are crucial factors that instill a sense of well being when an athlete is competing in high-stress sporting competitions.
The recommendations from these sporting icons, coupled with the many advantages of HBOT, are reasons enough for promising athletes to invest in a personal hyperbaric chamber.