One of the ways that hyperbaric oxygen heals is by reducing inflammation. We feel like this is evident in wound healing and cancer. One of the things we don’t necessarily think about is osteoporosis and the accompanying inflammation. Most of us associate osteoporosis with low calcium or not enough exercise, and those are certainly a part of the picture. But if you look deeper, there is generally some inflammation that is slowly deteriorating the bone leading to weak bone density.
I came across a couple of studies this week, that don’t expressly say that hyperbaric worked as an anti-inflammatory, but it showed increased bone density after multiple treatments. And these are also rat studies, but generally we study rats before humans, so it seems logical that humans would also see an increase in bone density with hyperbaric oxygen.
We have seen hyperbaric oxygen treatments increase bone density with human patients who have undergone radiation that has destroyed bone tissue. We have also seen hyperbaric oxygen therapy help heal necrosis of bone after bisphosphonates (the drugs for osteoporosis). So, although there are no published studies yet on human osteoporosis and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, I’m going to start recommending this to my patients.