Treatment using a hyperbaric chamber filled with 100% oxygen can significantly improve chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), in which patients lie in a glass chamber and breathe pure oxygen, is already used to treat non-healing wounds, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other medical conditions.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University wanted to see if it could be a more effective treatment than drugs currently prescribed for fibromyalgia patients.
They recruited 64 Israelis over the age of 18 who had fibromyalgia as a result of head trauma and divided them into two groups. One underwent conventional care, the other he underwent her HBOT at the medical center.
Forty percent of participants who received HBOT five days a week for three months experienced improvement sufficient to no longer meet fibromyalgia criteria. This did not occur in any patient in the drug treatment group.
Furthermore, all patients who received HBOT reported significantly improved quality of life.
“Overall, existing treatments are not enough [for fibromyalgia]said Jacob Abrin, M.D., Tel Aviv Soulaski Medical Center.
“This is a chronic disease that has a significant impact on quality of life, including among young people, and hyperbaric medicine meets the urgent needs of these patients.
“Of course, these are preliminary studies, and we need to follow up and see how the medical protocols affect patients after one, two, and three years. We also need to do more exposure to hyperbaric sessions to affirm.” We need to see if we need to maintain consistent results.”
Shai Eflati, M.D., Ph.D., who led the study, said: Damaged tissue – and, of course, the medication group experienced side effects associated with drug treatment.
“This is a difference in approach, not just to treat symptoms, but to cure them. We assessed improvement in participants in the hyperbaric group more than a week after their last hyperbaric session.
“Further follow-up is needed to determine the duration of the beneficial effects of treatment and when and for whom additional treatment is needed.
“Our goal as physicians is to improve the quality of life for fibromyalgia patients by not just treating the symptoms, but treating the cause of the problem wherever possible.”
The results of this study were published in the journal PLOS One.