Hyperbaric chamber used for more than 'the bends'

In such a tight space, claustrophobia can be an issue.
In such a tight space, claustrophobia can be an issue.

MADISON, AL (WAFF) - This patient is not being treated for decompression sickness but IS reaping the benefits of pressurized treatment with 100 percent oxygen. Terry Neal said he is seeing improvement.

"I've had six treatments out of a scheduled 40, and my last two experiences have been very pleasant. I felt more energized after I left the chamber than I did when I entered the chamber," he said.

Neal said he's being treated for Fibromyalgia.

"My life experience over the past few years has been sort of difficult. I experience daily headaches, varying degrees of fatigue, often times very extreme. It makes it tough to get through the day," said Neal.

In such a tight space, claustrophobia can be an issue.

"I did have a little bit of anxiety the first time, sort of a feeling of being trapped, but it was transient. It didn't last but for a minute or two," Neal added.

Dr. Rodney Soto said at a normal atmospheric pressure, we just don't get enough oxygen into the cells to help the body heal.

"So by pressurizing the environment, which can be done at different altitudes or depths in the sea, we create a process in which the oxygen is transferred into the cells at a higher volume," Soto said.

The hyperbaric chamber is used for a multitude of different ailments. Those can include wounds that have a tough time healing, carbon monoxide poisoning, skin grafts, burns, and other non-curable chronic illnesses.

"Chronic brain disorders such as brain injury, traumatic brain injury, kids with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Lyme disease and multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, dementia," added Soto.

He said the chamber can be used to help those with chronic inflammatory diseases as well.

"The main process by which hyperbaric oxygen is delivered to cells and reduces inflammation, so any chronic inflammatory process, whether it's arthritis, rheumatoid or chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia," said Soto.

He said inflammation in the digestive tract may also benefit from the treatment.

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