Managing chronic pain through hyperbaric oxygen therapy and its effects on central sensitization

Central sensitization is a condition of the nervous system that is associated with the development and maintenance of chronic pain. A new understanding of the role of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in central sensitization may be the key to effectively utilizing the benefits of this therapeutic intervention for pain management.

In this study, an experimental first degree burn injury was induced in 19 healthy male subjects followed by one single hyperbaric oxygen session (2.4 ATA, 100% oxygen, 90 min). The results from the hyperbaric session demonstrated a long lasting reduction in pain. In addition, the application of HBOT also demonstrated a protective effect through preconditioning. These results strongly support the effects on central sensitization through HBOT and may offer greater clinical applications for those suffering from chronic pain syndromes, particularly towards persistence post surgical pain and phantom limb pain, among other areas within clinical pain research. <View study — Journal of Pain Research 2019>