Hyperbaric oxygen is being routinely utilized by professional athletes and teams to shorten the recuperation period after soft tissue injuries. Soft- tissue injury inevitable results in a disturbance of the microcirculation with the release of chemicals known as inflammatory mediators, which cause swelling or edema and further soft-tissue damage.
The Vancouver Canucks were the first professional hockey team to use hyperbaric oxygen on a regular basis. Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys has been quoted on ESPN as saying that he uses hyperbaric oxygen. Other teams, including the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets, also make hyperbaric oxygen available to their athletes. Although not widely known, many other professional athletes and teams have hyperbaric chambers available to reduce the “down time” after soft-tissue sports injuries.
Hyperbaric oxygen has been shown to reduce swelling and reduce this inflammatory response.