Hyperbaric Chamber in patients with Arthritis and Arthrosis

September 3, 2021

Arthropathies are a series of diseases related to wear and tear of the locomotor system or alteration of the immune system. The most frequent pathologies in this group are arthritis and osteoarthritis. 

Arthritis and osteoarthritis: 

Arthritis inflames the synovial membrane of the joints, with those of the wrists, hands, feet, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and neck being the most affected. In those who suffer from it, inflammation and joint effusion, stiffness, pain, and loss of mobility can be observed. It is estimated that approximately 1% of the world's population suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. It can appear at any age, even in childhood.

Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, affects approximately 10% of the population and is associated with aging, being more frequent in the population over 40 years of age. The most affected joints are the spine, hips, knees, fingers, and toes. This disease attacks the cartilage that lines the joints, causing pain, stiffness, clicking in the joints. 

Benefits of the Hyperbaric Chamber in arthritis and osteoarthritis

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be applied to the treatment of this pathology thanks to the different physiological effects of oxygen. 

Hyperbaric oxygen decreases the degree of cartilage destruction as it is a fundamental molecule for the synthesis and maturation of collagen fiber, providing a more stable fibrillar structure. Research has also shown that hyperbaric oxygenation decreases the expression of an enzyme involved in cell death, which leads to the deterioration of articular cartilage. 

On the other hand, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has an immunomodulatory effect, which involves minimizing the reactivity of immune cells on the tissue itself.

Different research has shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the release of circulating stem cells from the bone marrow and activates their differentiation into different tissues, which could contribute to the repair of the affected joint. 

Also, hyperbaric oxygen has a vasoconstrictor effect that favors the reduction of the inflammatory response, the reduction of edema and pain improving the patient's quality of life. 

Therefore, the application of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on arthropathies has the following benefits:

  • Tissue regeneration
  • Decrease of inflammation
  • Immunomodulatory effect
  • Pain relief
  • Promotes recovery and mobility.