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How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helped Football Great Joe Namath

Posts Tagged ‘hyperbaric chamber michigan’

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helped Football Great Joe Namath

Posted on: August 7th, 2021 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

As an NFL Hall-of-Fame quarterback and Super Bowl MVP, Joe Namath had it all. His exceptional performance on the field and natural charisma turned him into a pop culture icon known as “Broadway Joe.”

But Joe didn’t emerge from his football career unscathed. He suffered at least five concussions—the “lights out, smelling salts” kind, Joe said on the June 24, 2019, Howard Stern radio show.

He didn’t really think much about it until the 2000s at his football camp when he saw how gridiron head injuries were affecting one of his former teammates. “I saw a teammate of mine deteriorating over a period of four years,” Joe says. “His mind, he was losing it, he’d forget things. It scared him.”

At the football camp the following year, the teammate was even worse. It was a wake-up call for Joe. “It dawned on me, I said I need to find out about myself. It behooves me, Joe, to find out about myself. And it behooves me to do it for my children.”

What a Brain Scan Revealed About Joe Namath’s Brain
Joe reached out to a hospital in Florida where he lives and underwent a brain imaging test called SPECT, which measures blood flow and brain activity. SPECT shows three things—areas of the brain with healthy activity, too much activity, or not enough activity. SPECT differs from MRI or CT scans, which show structural damage to the brain but do not reveal how the brain is functioning. In fact, in many people who have suffered a head injury, MRI and CT scans will appear normal even when there is functional damage to the brain. Because SPECT looks at brain function, it is the best tool to detect functional damage.

Joe Namath’s SPECT scan revealed that all those concussions on the field had taken a toll on his brain. The brain scan showed evidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), with low activity in some areas. “With that SPECT scan, they could see the cells on the left side of my head from the forehead back were not getting blood. They were darker than the rest of the other cells,” Joe says.

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helped Joe Namath’s Brain
As part of a treatment plan to rehabilitate his brain, Joe began doing hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). HBOT is a non-invasive treatment that involves breathing 100% pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. With HBOT, your lungs can take in up to 3 times more oxygen than they do when breathing at normal air pressure. The increased oxygen is picked up via the bloodstream and transported to damaged tissues to facilitate the healing process. HBOT has been used to improve many issues, including TBI, PTSD, memory loss, anxiety and depression, attention problems, and other mental health issues.

After 40 sessions, Joe went back for a follow-up SPECT scan, which showed the dark areas of his brain with low blood flow had started to lighten up, a sign of improved blood flow. He continued with 40 more sessions and then a final 40 sessions. His follow-up brain scan after all 120 HBOT sessions stunned him. His brain “looked normal all over,” he says.

Since then, Joe has made it his mission to spread the word about the benefits of SPECT brain imaging and hyperbaric oxygen therapy through the Joe Namath Neurological Research Center at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida. “This could help millions,” he says, such as “the veterans alone that get concussions, the children that fall off bicycles and hit their head.”

Although Joe Namath was not treated at Amen Clinics, we have used brain SPECT imaging and hyperbaric oxygen therapy to help treat numerous former NFL players and thousands of other people with TBI. In fact, 40 percent of our patients have had TBIs, including mild ones where you don’t pass out. Many of our patients who have undergone HBOT have experienced a dramatic improvement in cerebral blood flow. Benefits they have reported include improved memory, moods, cognition, and sleep, as well as reduced depression, irritability, and headaches.

If you would like more information on hyperbaric oxygen therapy, contact Dr. Bruce Ruben at Encompass Healthcare in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – Healing for Burns!

Posted on: June 4th, 2020 by Encompass Healthcare

In order to understand the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to heal burns, it is first important to understand the four burn classifications.

Classification of Burns
A first-degree or superficial burn affects only the epidermis or outer layer of skin. The burn site is red, painful, and dry with no blistering. A mild sunburn is one example of a first-degree burn. Long-term tissue damage is rare and usually consists of a lightening or a darkening in
the skin color.

In a second-degree or partial-thickness burn, the epidermis and part of the dermis layer of skin are damaged. The burn site appears red, blistered, and may be swollen and painful.

With a third-degree or full-thickness burn, the epidermis and dermis are destroyed. Burns where there is also damage to the underlying tendon, muscle, and bone are considered to be fourth-degree burns. The burn site appears white or charred and no sensation is felt in the area because the nerve endings have been destroyed and worse, the blood vessels carrying needed oxygen have also been destroyed.

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Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Treating Burns
Therapeutic use of HBOT in burns is most often utilized for second and third degree burn cases. In third degree burns, the initial thermal injury occurs followed by circumferential, widening tissue loss. This means that the surrounding tissue of the burn also becomes damaged because the blood vessels have been destroyed as a consequence of the burn. When the blood vessels are destroyed, downstream blood flow from the burn site is arrested, propagating further tissue death due to a lack of oxygen.

When tissue death occurs, the body does not recognize that tissue as its own and perceives that it is a potentially harmful invader. This jeopardized tissue becomes a target for its own immune system and “attacks” the dying and surrounding tissues, resulting in more tissue death. This process is called ischemia reperfusion injury.

HBOT given within the first 48 to 72 hours following thermal injury increases the oxygen saturation to the body by up to 12 times that of breathing air at sea level. This can mitigate ischemia reperfusion injury and the possibility of advanced tissue destruction beyond the initial area of thermal injury by supplying the body with added oxygen that, in turn, can bring the damaged area “back to life.” This signals the body that the tissue is no longer a foreign invader and consequently, normal wound-healing processes are able to take place.

Beyond 72 hours, HBOT helps by continuing to promote new tissue growth, which encourages healing by aiding in the manufacturing of new blood vessels, which, in turn, make fibroblasts that are responsible for collagen production. In addition, HBOT reduces the body’s inflammation which otherwise would slow down the healing process. Finally, HBOT also offers infection control, as oxygen is the white blood cell’s weapon to kill bacteria.

In short, serious thermal burns patients are great candidates for hyperbaric oxygen therapy due to the mitigation of ischemia reperfusion injury, the promotion of new blood vessels and tissue growth, and the control of infection!

Patients who believe they may be candidates for HBOT should call our office. With a simple consultation from our physician, we can determine if HBOT is the right treatment for a patient. Appointments for our office can be made by phone or from our website. We’re here to help!

The Mayo Clinic on the Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

Posted on: November 6th, 2019 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

Overview

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-established treatment for decompression sickness, a hazard of scuba diving. Other conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy include serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.

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In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.

Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Why it’s done

Your body’s tissues need an adequate supply of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat several medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in different ways. Your doctor may suggest hyperbaric oxygen therapy if you have one of the following conditions:

  • Anemia, severe
  • Brain abscess
  • Bubbles of air in your blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)
  • Burn
  • Decompression sickness
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Crushing injury
  • Deafness, sudden
  • Gangrene
  • Infection of skin or bone that causes tissue death
  • Nonhealing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcer
  • Radiation injury
  • Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death
  • Vision loss, sudden and painless

The evidence is insufficient to support claims that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can effectively treat the following conditions:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Allergies
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Brain injury
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Cirrhosis
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Heart disease
  • Heatstroke
  • Hepatitis
  • Migraine
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sports injury
  • Stroke

Risks

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally a safe procedure. Complications are rare. But this treatment does carry some risk.

Potential risks include:

  • Temporary nearsightedness (myopia) caused by temporary eye lens changes
  • Middle ear injuries, including leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, due to increased air pressure
  • Lung collapse caused by air pressure changes (barotrauma)
  • Seizures as a result of too much oxygen (oxygen toxicity) in your central nervous system
  • In certain circumstances, fire — due to the oxygen-rich environment of the treatment chamber

How you prepare

Pure oxygen can cause fire if a spark or flame ignites a source of fuel. Because of this, you can’t take items such as lighters or battery-powered devices into the hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber. In addition, to limit sources of excess fuel, you may need to remove hair and skincare products that are petroleum-based and potentially a fire hazard. Ask a member of your health care team for specific instructions before your first hyperbaric oxygen therapy session.

What you can expect

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy typically is performed as an outpatient procedure and doesn’t require hospitalization. If you’re already hospitalized and require hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you’ll remain in the hospital for therapy. Or you’ll be transported to a hyperbaric oxygen facility that’s separate from the hospital.

Depending on the type of medical institution you go to and the reason for treatment, you may receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy in one of two settings:

  • A unit designed for 1 person. In an individual (monoplace) unit, you lie down on a table that slides into a clear plastic tube.
  • A room designed to accommodate several people. In a multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room — which usually looks like a large hospital room — you may sit or lie down. You may receive oxygen through a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood placed over your head.

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the air pressure in the room is about two to three times normal air pressure. The increased air pressure will create a temporary feeling of fullness in your ears — similar to what you might feel in an airplane or at a high elevation. You can relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing.

For most conditions, therapy lasts approximately two hours. Members of your health care team will monitor you and the therapy unit throughout your treatment.

After hyperbaric oxygen therapy

You may feel somewhat tired or hungry following your treatment. This doesn’t limit normal activities.

Results

To benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you’ll likely need more than one session. The number of sessions depends on your medical condition. Some conditions, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, might be treated in three visits. Others, such as nonhealing wounds, may require 20 to 40 treatments.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy alone can often effectively treat decompression sickness, arterial gas embolism and severe carbon monoxide poisoning.

To effectively treat other conditions, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan and administered with other therapies and drugs that fit your individual needs.

 

Contact Encompass Healthcare today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bruce Ruben

See Dr. Ruben’s Video On Refractory Osteomyelitis

Posted on: November 4th, 2015 by Mindy Ruben No Comments

Refractory osteomyelitis is a recurrent case of osteomyelitis.

This patient has recurring or refractory osteomyelitis of his lower jaw.

This patient has recurring or refractory osteomyelitis of his lower jaw.

Osteomyelitis is a fancy word for bone infection and refractory osteomyelitis can become a problem if untreated.

(more…)

 

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