Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Concussion
“Get Back to You Faster”
Every Concussion is different but they are all serious and should be treated as soon as possible.
At Holistic Hyperbarics, we believe that while HBOT can help significantly with concussion recovery, concussion care does not stop at HBOT. Our clinic believes in a “whole person” approach to all of our conditions. For our concussion patients,we suggest combining hyperbaric oxygen therapy with nutritional supplements, an anti-inflammatory diet, and safe movement. We have worked with our medical team to develop a system of prescription supplements, light exercise, and personalized dietary plans that are available to help you through your recovery journey.
Types of Concussions
Single point impact with local swelling
Back-and-forth impact with multiple points of swelling. Possible swelling at the brain stem.
Shockwave trauma creates a distribution pattern of swelling emanating from the direction of impact.
Status of Concussion
Lasts from 3 hours to 72 hours after impact
Begins 72 hours after impact and can last up to three months
When symptoms persist past three months after impact
Multiple concussions within a 3 month timeframe
How HBOT Helps Concussions
Swelling, or edema, in the brain tissues creates immense pressure that robs the area of vital oxygen leading to memory impairment, disorientation, and headaches. HBOT constricts the damaged blood vessels, removing the primary source of the edema, while also providing needed oxygen that has been lost in those areas.
Increases oxygen in brain tissue
After a concussive event, damaged blood vessels are inefficient at transporting oxygenated blood to the brain. HBOT dissolves a higher than normal concentration of oxygen molecules into the blood and surrounding tissues. This higher oxygen content supports the tissues as your body recovers.
Stimulates growth of new blood vessels
HBOT increases your body’s cellular energy (ATP) and boosts its ability to create new blood vessels to replace the ones that were damaged. The growth of new capillaries furthers the body’s ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients into areas that need them most.
Stimulates regeneration of nerve fibers
Concussions damage nerve fibers and the myelin sheaths that insulate them. The body repairs both structures using ATP as its primary fuel. HBOT increases the levels of ATP in your system, speeding up the process of repair and regeneration of nerve fibers (neurogenesis).
Reduces brain fog
HBOT increases the oxygen in brain tissue which allows cells to heal and improves cell metabolism. It also reduces inflammation allowing your brain to work more optimally. This can help reduce brain fog and restore overall cognitive function.
Suboptimal Pathways and HBOT
Damage to myelin sheaths and cerebral vasculature from a concussion causes inflammation that limits the amount of oxygen reaching certain parts of your brain. When an oxygen starved brain needs to function for a task and can't, other neural pathways will take over. Think of this as a road detour; when one route is blocked, your brain takes a slower, less direct route to the same destination. Though it may feel like your brain fog will last forever, combining HBOT, an anti-inflammatory diet, nutritional supplements, and safe movement exercises can support and accelerate your brain's return to more efficient signaling pathways.
Is HBOT Right for Me?
At Holistic Hyperbarics, we believe that the three important factors to your recovery are the type and status of your concussion as listed above. The type depends on how the concussion occurred and status is determined by how long it has been since the initial injury or how many you have had. But we have found that taking a whole person approach produces a more optimal outcome.
In combination with HBOT, dietary supplements, safe movement, and nutrition can help you recover faster from a concussion in the following ways
Antioxidant protection of neurons and brain tissue
Anti-inflammatory effects in the brain and body for faster recovery and less deterioration of brain function
Healthy cell formation in the brain and body
Normal inflammatory response in your digestive tract and tissues
Healthy production of essential neurotransmitters
Better digestion and absorption of nutrients
Immune and neuromuscular system function
Amino acids, omega-3s, and antioxidants to reduce inflammation
Speeds up recovery time
Lessens the chances of post-concussion syndrome
Helps regulate sleep
Enhances blood flow throughout the body
Helps to lessen the feelings of depression that can accompany traumatic brain injuries
Helps bring down any inflammation in and around the brain
Helps with sleep and clarity
Nutrient dense foods help supply the body with vital nutrients to enhance recovery
When is HBOT appropriate to use?
At Holistic Hyperbarics we have found that the most effective period for HBOT is within the acute phase of a concussion. However, we have seen many patients experience profound recovery outcomes when coming to us at different stages of their concussion.
What symptoms and conditions are contraindications?
Emphysema with CO2 retention
High fevers: Fevers above 38.5ºC (around 101-102ºF )
History of middle-ear surgery or disorders:
History of seizures
Chest trauma or thoracic surgery
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
You may consider rescheduling your visit in the chamber if you are suffering from any of the above conditions. These conditions are less frequent but may be a risk to your health. Please consult your doctor before booking an appointment. For more information about more contraindications,
please visit the “A word of caution” section of our FAQ page.
Planning Your HBOT Journey
Step 1 - Call or text us at (510) 648-9496 with the type and status of your concussion
Step 2 - Schedule with us over the phone or on our website
Step 3 - Come in for your first HBOT session
The statements and information on this page have not been evaluated by the FDA. Studies, claims, and any other information provided in these documents by Holistic Hyperbarics are intended for educational purposes only and are not meant to prescribe treatment. Protocol and results of hyperbaric oxygen therapy have not been verified by the FDA and should be discussed with a medical doctor before beginning treatment.