Degenerative Disc Disease / Back Pain
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition that includes thinning and weakening of the intervertebral discs of the spine. It can be age related, inflammatory or non-inflammatory. Sometimes DDD is initiated with an injury to the spine. The weakened disc can bulge or rupture causing a Prolapsed Disc (also Herniated or Slipped Disc.) The intervertebral discs typically have a poor blood supply, and generally heal slowly.
The compression of spinal nerves by a disc or by vertebrae can result in a compressed nerve, called a radiculopathy. Sciatica is a radiculopathy of the lumbar spine. Compressed nerves undergo an inflammatory process that further reduces blood supply and can cause serious pain or damage the nervous tissue.
It is important to consider a multi-disciplinary approach to recovery from back pain. First of all, it is helpful to deduce or diagnose the cause of the pain. There are many potential causes of back pain.
Scientific evidence shows that hyperbaic oxygen therapy can:
A gradual return to activity is essential, so keep moving as you can.
Scientific Resources Supporting the use of HBOT for Degenerative Disc Disease
Researchers from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Chang Gung University, College of Medicine in Taiwan are leading the way in researching how degenerative disc disease responds to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. They have studied a variety of human cells in detail as well as a study using a degenerative disk rat model.
- 2013 Taiwanese Study - Effect of hyperbaric oxygenation on intervertebral disc degeneration: an in vivo study on sprague-dawley rats.
- 2013 Taiwanese Study - Hyperbaric oxygen treatment suppresses MAPK signalling and mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in degenerated human intervertebral disc cells.
- 2011 Taiwanese Study - Effect of hyperbaric oxygen on intervertebral disc degeneration: an in vitro study with human lumbar nucleus pulposus.
- 2011 Taiwanese Study - Beneficial effect of hyperbaric oxygen on human degenerated disk cells by via suppression of IL-1β and p 38 MAPK signal.
Scientific Resources Supporting the use of HBOT for Prolapsed Disks
Rapid Recovery Hyperbarics of California has an excellent list of case studies of prolapsed and herniated discs (courtesy of HyperMED) responding well to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Chinese researchers have investigated hyperbaric oxygen as an adjunctive treatment to other modalities.
Scientific Resources Supporting the use of HBOT for Nerve Impingement / Nerve damage
- 2016 - The effect of different application timings of hyperbaric oxygen treatment on nerve regeneration in rats
- 2014 - Hyperbaric oxygen treatment produces and antinociceptive response phase and inhibits astrocyte activation and inflammatory response in rat model of neuropathic pain.
- 2013 - Involvement of brain opioid receptors in the anti-allodynic effect of hyperbaric oxygen in rats with sciatic nerve crush-induced neuropathic pain.
- 2013 - Effect of hyperbaric oxygen on pain related behaviors and nitric oxide synthase in a rat model of neuropathic pain. (Full Text)
- 2012 - Hyperbaric oxygen therapy attenuates neuropathic hyperalgesia in rats and idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia in patients.
- 2011 - Hyperbaric oxygenation therapy alleviates chronic constrictive injury-induced neuropathic pain and reduces tumor necrosis factor-alpha production.
- 2011 - Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and promoting neurological recovery following nerve trauma.
- 2011 - Effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on tense repair of the peripheral nerves.
- 2010 - Hyperbaric oxygen treatment decreases pain in two nerve injury models.
- 2007 - Hyperbaric oxygenation in peripheral nerve repair and regeneration.
- 2005 - Effects of Hyperbaric oxygen on skin blood flow and tissue morphology following sciatic nerve constriction (Full Text)