Saturday, July 19, 2008


Ok guys, it is Saturday and the end of week three. 

Last weekend, I believe I stated that I thought this third week would be a big week. A week of some big changes. I thought I would hit the wall and I surely did. I also have been able to get over the wall and am coming down the other side. 

Have you seen the new version of the show AMERICAN GLADIATOR'S? At the end of the show they have to run a gauntlet of obstacles. The last thing they face, when their bodies are fairly exhausted, is having to climb up a downward moving treadmill and then crash through a wall. 

That is kind of how I feel. I have run the gauntlet, and Monday I hit the treadmill (or the Wall), and by Wednesday I was breaking through the wall. I still have a ways to go which I hope will happen over the course of the coming week, but I am considerably better today than I was on Monday/Tuesday. 

With some treatments there is an immediate result, good or bad.  Anyone going through this treatment has to look at it as if you are doing a marathon though and not a sprint. You have to understand from the outset that it is going to take however long it takes and you are going to stick with it to the end and beyond. Remember, sometimes the best results aren't seen for weeks afterwards.

How does HBOT actually work on CRPS?

Let me quote an article you can find on our website;

"Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a new therapy for many individuals with CRPS/RSD. Interestingly, however, this therapy is not new at all."  (Doctor Allan Spiegel)
"Spiegel says that HBOT supersaturates tissues that have been deprived of oxygen because of the swelling of a limb. Specifically, saturation levels of oxygen in blood and tissues increase 10 to 20 times while in the chamber. Further, HBOT has a tendency to constrict vessels by about 15%, which causes a decrease in swelling from the edema present in most people with RSD. "With HBOT,"Spiegel says,"we are looking at long-term improvement, reduction in pain, improvement in sleep -- and reduction in depression, because pain causes depression."

Susan Rodriguez, a certified hyperbaric specialist from San Bernadino, California, "With RSD, pain is read through sensors in the sympathetic nervous system. (the sympathetic nervous system is what is activated in phantom limb pain, for example). "Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, however, can make the switch in the brain back to the central nervous system," Rodriguez says. Under a doctor's direction, she treats both the affected limb and the brain by different atmospheric pressures when the patient is inside the chamber."

"Different undersea depths work on different parts of the body," she explains. "Deeper depths (up to 33 to 45 feet undersea) work on tissue and bone, while milder hyperbarics (such as 18 to 24 feet undersea) work on the brain. Since we are working on both things, I take patients to all those levels. Almost always, the first symptom to come is the last to go. And then the symptoms are gone!"

So what are some of the things you should look for in a clinic? 

In that same article cited above they offer some tips;

Choose a reputable center for your treatment, where your therapists understand all the risks and take all the safety precautions necessary to avoid a problem. 

A reputable center will;

1) Be staffed by a physician and other healthcare professionals certified by the Hyperbaric and Undersea Medical Society.

2) Require a Doctor's prescription before giving therapy.

3) Have two or more staff members in the building at all times in the event one has an emergency. 

4)  Have strict rules about allowing nothing whatsoever in the chamber with the patient that could be combustible. 

I have added some new links to the American RSDHope website section on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Pop by and check it out. 

Now, to some questions. 

Some have asked about books regarding HBOT. Here is an excellent link;


Someone asked me what the contraindications are for HBOT;


I hope that brings me up to date. Feel free to drop me a line, add your comment below about HBOT, CRPS, or just say hi!

Peace, Keith 

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