Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Nerve Pain
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) consists of breathing pure, 100% oxygen while in a pressurized environment. The air pressure is approximately two to three times normal air pressure, which allows the lungs to gather more oxygen than normal. The blood carries the extra oxygen throughout the body, which can help fight infections and promote healing.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat various health conditions, including decompression sickness, carbon monoxide poisoning, and skin or bone infections. Emerging evidence suggests it may also be an effective treatment for nerve pain, including pain associated with complex regional pain syndrome, trigeminal neuralgia, and fibromyalgia.
Nerve injury impairs autophagy, which is the process the body uses to remove damaged/dysfunctional cells and regenerate healthy cells. Medical professionals believe HBOT enhances autophagy, which can lead to the relief of nerve pain.
Although emerging research is promising, HBOT is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of nerve pain. Further research and studies are needed.