Anyone who has sprained an ankle understands inflammation. There are the four classical symptoms – heat, redness, pain and swelling.  However, inflammation can be present even without pain or obvious signs. Hay fever, heart disease, depression, and diabetes have inflammation at the root. Even our crow’s feet and laugh lines are due to an inflammatory process in the skin and that’s just the beginning.   

“Researchers are linking inflammation to an ever‐wider array of chronic illnesses,” reports Newsweek’s Anne Underwood. “Suddenly medical puzzles seem to be fitting together, such as why hypertension puts patients at increased risk of Alzheimer’s, or why rheumatoid‐arthritis sufferers have higher rates of sudden cardiac death.  They’re all connected on some fundamental level.”  There is also growing evidence that symptoms of Autism are linked to inflammation.

The causes of inflammation include tissue reactions to infection, injury, radiation, allergies, chemicals, heat or cold and cancer. Inflammation can occur in any type of tissue, for example:

  1. Nervous system, inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord producing, meningitis or of the brain itself, encephalitis.
  2. Inflammation of the heart producing myocarditis or endocarditis
  3. Inflammation of joints producing rheumatoid arthritis.
  4. Inflammation of the gut causing inflammatory bowel disease.
  5. Inflammation of the lung causing pneumonia.

When we look at chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis, inflammation is present and actively contributing to the disease process. Sometimes it is a result of the disease; sometimes it is helping to create it.

After an injury, inflammation is a natural and necessary part of healing. The body rushes fluid and white blood cells to the area to help it repair. Sometimes though, it can last too long, or there can be some collateral damage to surrounding areas. Inflammation that goes on too long can be self-perpetuating, even when the original injury has been healed. Some people are left with chronic pain or disability and their doctors can’t find a reason. Theoretically, the wound has healed, the disc is repaired, or the surgery was “successful”. The problem is that for some people, the inflammation that occurs with an injury is never resolved and now inflammation is in a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle.

Inflammation which is left unrecognized and untreated becomes chronic, that is, the body has insufficient energy to muster all immune defenses. A raging campfire will burn up wood quickly, but smoldering coals will also destroy the wood, just at a slower pace. This is what happens in the body with silent inflammation. It slowly deteriorates your cells and leaves you vulnerable to illness. Inflammation is a key player in aging and degeneration.

“The benefits of reducing inflammation via HBOT are immediate, as well as long term. You’ll notice that your skin looks younger, your joints feel better, and your symptoms improve.  At the same time, when you reduce inflammation, you also reduce your risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, and other complications of aging.”   ~ HBOT specialist Dr. Paul Harch (The Oxygen Revolution)

Experts now agree that HBOT is quickly becoming one of the treatments of choice. It triggers a strong anti‐inflammatory response and has been shown to improve immune function. Oxygen feeds our cells and allows them to heal. When our cells are healthy, inflammation can’t rage out of control. There are numerous studies showing the anti-inflammatory effects of HBOT. Not only does it help to decrease the cytokines, (inflammatory chemical messengers), but it helps to stimulate the stem cells that help to heal the injury. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is all around a great tool to help decrease inflammation and bring about healing.

Is HBOT right for you? The experts at Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy of Western New York can answer your questions and address any concerns you may have. Visit us at or call us: (585) 426-8969