Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) 高壓氧治療 中風復健


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)


HBOT has been used for many years in treating a wide variety of illnesses and conditions, such as decompression sickness (from diving), carbon monoxide poisoning, diabetic wounds, and skin grafts.  It consists of placing the patient in some type of chamber or mask that increases the oxygen content of the air they breathe.  In the treatment of stroke, they are theoretically supplying a larger quantity of much needed oxygen to the brain cells around the area of the stroke, which were also injured by the stroke, but not to the extent of cell death.  This is thought to speed recovery of strength, ROM, vision, speech, cognitive abilities, and other types of stroke-related deficits.

Treatment regimens vary.  Many providers have their own protocol, which can be 1 or 2 sessions per day, about 60 to 90 minutes per session, and anywhere from 30 to 60 total sessions.  (which can be fairly expensive, considering Medicare does not list this as an approved reimbursable treatment for stroke).


Does It Work?

According to at least one provider of this treatment, they have seen improvements in function when performed within days of a stroke, and even up to 15 years after.  And here is a link to some personal testimonies of success with the HBOT (not necessarily for stroke recovery).

But what about controlled research?  Well, there aren’t many published studies at this point.
A Cochrane Database Sytematic Review published in 2005 analyzed the current research (at that time) and did “not find evidence to show that HBOT improves clinical outcomes when applied during the acute presentation of ischaemic stroke.”



I don’t think there is enough research yet to prove if it’s effective or not in stroke recovery.  If you have the money to pay for it,  ask your doctor if you are a good candidate.  But remember that simply increasing the oxygen supplied to your brain cells will not automatically make you walk better or throw a baseball again.  You will still need a regular routine of active rehab activities that drive neuroplasticity, such as CIMTaquatic therapy, mental practice,mirror therapy, treadmill training, etc.




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