Fibromyalgia and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS or FM) is a medical condition characterized by chronic widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure. Key symptoms include chronic widespread pain, allodynia and diffuse tenderness, along with fatigue and sleep disturbance. Other symptoms include tiredness to a degree that normal activities are affected, sleep problems, and troubles with memory. Some people also report restless legs syndrome, bowel or bladder problems, numbness and tingling, and sensitivity to noise, lights or temperature. Fibromyalgia is frequently associated with depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Other types of chronic pain are also frequently present. The syndrome is still elusive and refractory.
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown; however, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors with half the risk attributed to each. The condition runs in families and many genes are believed to be involved. Environmental factors may include psychological stress, trauma, and certain infections. The pain appears to result from processes in the central nervous system and the condition is referred to as a "central sensitization syndrome". Fibromyalgia is recognized as a disorder by the US National Institutes of Health and the American College of Rheumatology. There is no specific diagnostic test. Diagnosis involves first ruling out other potential causes and verifying that a set number of symptoms are present.
The treatment of fibromyalgia can be difficult. Recommendations often include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet.
A study in 2015 by Shai Efrati provides evidence that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) can improve the symptoms and life quality of FMS patients. Moreover, it shows that HBOT can induce neuroplasticity and significantly rectify abnormal brain activity in pain related areas of FMS patients.
To view the study, click here.