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Leg pain

Hyperbaric Oxygen and Leg Pain

Chronic leg pain is not uncommon. The usual cause of prolonged leg pain is an abnormality in the peripheral or central nervous system after an injury. Injury can happen after a surgical procedure (i.e. amputation), a sprain/strain, or after putting the leg in a cast after sustaining a fracture. The pain may feel like a burning, “pins and needles”, stabbing, shooting or squeezing sensation on the leg – which can be worse at night. There is also impaired microcirculation due to damage in the nerves controlling blood flow and temperature. Associated symptoms seen on the affected limb are changes in skin color and texture, abnormal sweating and hair growth patterns, stiffness and instability of the joints, and jerks or tremors.

Hyperbaric oxygen has been studied to be beneficial for various pain syndromes, including fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome/ reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, myofascial pain syndrome, phantom limb pain, migraine and cluster headaches.  By driving oxygen deep into the tissues, it reduces swelling and pain and can improve range of motion of individuals with chronic leg pain. Hyperbaric oxygenation augments the delivery and effectively salvages nerve fibers that have been rendered ischemic (lack of blood supply). Hyperbaric oxygen provides relief from hypoxia and edema. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy raises oxygen concentration in all tissue breaking the vicious hypoxia-pain circle, decreasing pain significantly. 

Clients suffering from ischemic leg pain are able to walk longer distances, experience less night leg pain and fatigue after undergoing at 15 sessions of 90-minute oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an adjunct to medical treatment in patients with long-standing impairment of limb function who are not suitable for vascular surgery.

Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen for Leg Pain:

  • Hyperbaric oxygen improves lymphatic drainage causing edema to subside. Subsequent reduction in edema prevents the vicious cycle of edema, ischemia and cell death by elevating oxygen delivery to the affected tissues.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen keeps nerves healthy. Increased oxygen promotes nerve repair and regeneration.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen contributes to angiogenesis. As new capillaries are formed, blood supply increases, consequently reducing inflammation, stiffness and improving range of motion.
  • When circulation is compromised, there is increased concentration of lactic acid. Increased delivery of oxygen to the tissues with HBO prevents tissue damage by decreasing lactic acid concentration.
Further reading:
  1. Sanchez EC, HBO in peripheral nerve repair and regeneration; March 2007. Neurological Research, Vol 29, 184-198.
  2. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
  3. Yildiz S, Gunalp U, Kiralp Z; Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Chronic Pain Management; Current Pain and Headache Reports 2006; 10:95-100

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Osvaldo C., Vancouver

"The people at Baromedical are very professional and knowledgeable and totally committed to help their patients. Their technology works. I started walking again after their treatment and debilitating pain in my legs disappeared. A+"

Gertrude P., Vancouver

"The staff was excellent and made me feel very comfortable. They were always checking on me while in the chamber which was very comforting. I took 20 treatments and have seen a big difference. My sugar levels are very good now, I have much more energy, sleep better at night, and the pain from the neuropathy in my feet is improved – I can walk with less pain. You cannot put a price on your health and these treatments were worth every penny spent. Thank you to the staff – they were great. The place was always clean. A wonderful experience."

Proudly serving Metro Vancouver and British Columbians with hyperbaric oxygen services and wound care since 1999

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7850 Sixth Street - Burnaby V3N 3N3 - British Columbia - Vancouver - CANADA - Ph: 604-777-7055

 Information contained on this site is intended for general consumer understanding and education. It should not be used as a substitute for any medical professional opinion, advice or prescribed medication nor should it serve as diagnosis or treatment of health problems.