Professional athletes are equipped with some of the most cutting-edge therapeutic treatments available, and for good reason.
Their intense training regimens and demanding travel schedules put an incredible amount of strain on their bodies.
This means that athletes have to take their recovery time just as seriously as their workouts.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has become a popular recovery tool for athletes spanning many different sports, and it can also help people who aren’t training for the Olympics or playing in the NBA.
This non-invasive treatment can be beneficial to anyone looking to obtain better overall health and wellness.
Thus far, HBOT has been FDA-approved to treat over a dozen conditions and illnesses including decompression sickness, thermal burns, and necrotising fasciitis.
Doctors may also recommend this as an off-label therapy to help treat or manage the symptoms of anxiety disorders, autism, and attention deficit disorder.
Athletes who use hyperbaric therapy are often interested in the following health benefits:
Enhanced Physical Performance
Better Mental Clarity
Decreased Soreness after Physical Activity
In addition, HBOT can help shorten the recovery time required after a workout.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves circulation and is often used in conjunction with physical therapy to treat chronic muscle pain or acute injuries.
HBOT allows oxygen to penetrate 3x deeper into damaged tissue, which can drastically speed-up healing and recovery times.
In addition, this therapy has garnered attention as a way to help people suffering from post concussion syndrome, something that is common among professional athletes.
The list of athletes who use hyperbaric therapy continues to grow. Some of the most iconic current and former players in the NBA, NFL, and MLB have shared videos and given interviews touting the benefits of this therapy and the positive impact it has made on their performance.
LeBron James is one of the most accomplished basketball players of all time. He is showing no signs of slowing down and his business manager, Maverick Carter, attributes a large part of LeBron’s success to his focus on physical maintenance and recovery.
Part of LeBron’s routine involves regular HBOT therapy along with cryotherapy, a special diet, and personal training sessions.
LeBron has posted Instagram stories sharing with fans that he enjoys napping during his HBOT sessions which typically last about 90 minutes.
While preparing for the 2012 Olympics in London, Michael Phelps started sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber as part of his recovery routine.
In a 2012 interview, Phelps shared that the idea to use a hyperbaric chamber came after spending a lot of time in Colorado Springs, where the altitude had made a positive impact on his ability to bounce back after training sessions.
Joe was a Quarterback for the NY Jets. Namath’s experience is unique in that he started HBOT to address his symptoms of cognitive decline after multiple concussions.
In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Joe Namath said he “had a minimum of 5” concussions and that he had watched fellow football players slowly lose their memory.
This prompted him to find out more about what was going on inside his brain.
Namath worked with doctors where he lives in Florida to get as much information as he could. Namath said, “I took a brain scan.
Now, with that SPECT scan, they could see the cells in the left side of my head from the forehead back here (pointing to the back of his head) not getting blood.
SPECT scans produce 3-D images of organs within the body that are used to analyse blood flow, diagnose and monitor certain disorders, and more.
Based on the results of his SPECT scan, Namath made the decision to start hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
After 40 sessions, Namath shared that a second SPECT scan showed the “dark cells started to lighten up a bit,” meaning blood flow was returning to those regions of his brain.
Namath continued with his HBOT treatment and after 120 total treatment sessions, his SPECT scans were normal.
“My brain is healthy!” Namath told Stern.
Namath is so passionate about HBOT and the benefits this therapy offers for athletes suffering
from traumatic brain injury that he helped form the Joe Namath Neurological Research Centre
at Jupiter Medical Centre in Florida.
He pledged to raise $10 million to expand research into the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.