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How HBOT Can Help Treat Concussions (and Even Mental Health Disorders)

November 30, 2021
All Points North Lodge

Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury. When you receive a head injury, your brain can become bruised from hitting the sides of your skull, which can lead to concussion symptoms, such as:

  • Memory problems
  • Persistent headache
  • Personality changes
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

These symptoms prevent you from living your life to the fullest, impacting your ability to perform your job, maintain interpersonal relationships, and focus on daily activities. Typical concussion treatment requires time – a healthcare provider may require you to monitor symptoms as your brain works to heal itself. However, with new advances in alternative healing modalities like hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you can speed up recovery with fewer side effects.

HBOT for Brain Healing

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been documented to improve symptoms in patients with certain neurological and psychiatric conditions, including traumatic brain injuries and the resulting mental health complications.

After a concussion, your immune system must work hard to repair the damage to your brain tissue. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps stimulate your immune system, thereby improving healing mechanisms in your body. It also reduces inflammation and pain.

Concussion treatment can be more than just sitting around waiting for your brain to heal. With hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you can speed up your recovery. The health benefits of HBOT are numerous, and perhaps one of the most impressive is its ability to heal brain injuries and associated issues stemming from a TBI.

HBOT for Concussions

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can increase healing in the brain after traumatic brain injury. HBOT revives blood flow and oxygen circulation in damaged areas of the body. This allows your cells to begin healing tissues and prevents cell death.

HBOT is a non-invasive and convenient treatment option for those struggling with concussion symptoms. Medical studies have shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves outcomes in TBI patients.

HBOT for Mental Health

HBOT is also known for improving overall mood and emotional regulation. One study examined the effects of HBOT on patients with PTSD and TBI. The results were clear: HBOT significantly improves PTSD and TBI symptoms. After HBOT, subjects fared better in cognitive function, mood, quality of life, and brain imaging tests.¹

HBOT can also be used for “off-label” conditions, such as depression and anxiety. However, many anecdotal records of patients with psychological disorders show significant improvement in emotional symptoms after HBOT. This simply means the FDA needs more research to confirm HBOT’s efficacy for these conditions.

Post-Concussive Depression Treatment

Concussion treatment usually focuses on the physical damage you have experienced. However, there is another serious symptom that can occur after a concussion: depression.

Some symptoms of post-concussive depression include:

  • Chronic sadness
  • Loss of motivation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Persistent negative thoughts
  • Low self-esteem
  • Suicidal thoughts

These are all symptoms of typical depression as well. If you are experiencing these symptoms for the first time after your concussion, it is essential to seek treatment.

Deep TMS

One of the most effective treatments for depression is Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Deep TMS is a safe procedure that can bring life-changing relief to patients, and many patients who have not seen results with medication improve after dTMS.

Deep TMS uses electrical impulses to regulate the brain’s production of neurotransmitters, leading to improved mood and mental stability. dTMS can be a great option for clients struggling with post-concussive depression, in conjunction with other depression treatment.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

While deep TMS is effective at treating post-concussion depression, HBOT may be an excellent supplementary treatment. Oxygen assists in the brain’s healing process. For patients with concussions, these doses of oxygen can improve wound-healing mechanisms in their brains.

Deep TMS can treat the psychological symptoms of post-concussive depression. However, the physical wounds caused by the TBI would greatly benefit from HBOT. As oxygen flows through the body, it can carry extra healing power to sites of injury. This has been documented in many veterans with TBI or PTSD.

An HBOT technician sits next to a woman receiving treatment in an oxygen chamber.

Additional Benefits of HBOT

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has many benefits beyond facilitating wound healing. HBOT provides relief for many people around the world, from Olympic athletes to veterans suffering after combat.

Some of the benefits of HBOT include:

  • Cell and tissue repair
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Increased stem cell circulation
  • Wound healing
  • Sports injury healing
  • Immune system improvements

These are just the officially recognized benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Many “off-label” treatments improve psychological and autoimmune conditions, as well.

Common Questions About HBOT

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get at All Points North Lodge about our concussion treatment options.

Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy heal the brain?

HBOT facilitates wound healing throughout the body and can improve brain healing mechanisms by delivering oxygen to your brain tissues. This treatment is not a cure for brain injuries, but it can speed up the recovery process.

Can HBOT reverse brain damage?

Brain injuries are very complex, and modern medicine has not yet found a complete cure for extreme brain damage. While HBOT cannot reverse brain damage completely, it can significantly improve damaged tissues, speed up wound healing, and facilitate healthy cell growth. These processes all contribute to healing brain damage.

How does HBOT help the brain?

HBOT delivers a higher-than-normal concentration of oxygen to your bloodstream. This includes the brain, as the oxygen is delivered there through tiny blood vessels. From there, the oxygen carries healing cells to sites of injury and inflammation. More oxygen leads to increased tissue healing and cell regrowth.

Does oxygen help TBI?

HBOT has been shown to improve outcomes in patients with TBI as it improves tissue healing in damaged areas of the brain.

How many HBOT sessions are needed for a concussion?

The average range of HBOT sessions for concussion treatment will vary based on the severity of your concussion. Each session lasts around two hours, and you’ll have a trained professional by your side throughout the entire process.

What type of therapy is used for concussions?

There are many concussion treatments out there. Some medical professionals advise patients to “wait it out” and rest until they feel better. Others may use helpful therapies like deep TMS and HBOT.

All Points North Lodge

At All Points North Lodge, we offer various physical and mental health treatments. Our recovery programs treat addiction, mental health issues, trauma, and traumatic brain injuries. We want you to live a fulfilling, healthy life, and our professional staff will work with you to determine the best courses of treatment for your unique situation.

You don’t have to suffer through a concussion alone. Consider concussion treatment at APN Lodge, where we can create a custom treatment plan incorporating a variety of healing modalities. To learn more about how we can support you in treatment and recovery, reach out to one of our Contact Center team members via LiveChat or at 855.235.9792.

 

Reference

  1. Harch PG, Andrews SR, Fogarty EF, Lucarini J, Van Meter KW. Case control study: Hyperbaric oxygen treatment of mild traumatic brain injury persistent post-concussion syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder. Med Gas Res 2017;7:156-74

 

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