Fibromyalgia and hyperbaric oxygen therapy: Dr Efrati’s and his team study

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease, debilitating and complex that compromises the 2-4% people’s quality of life due to the generated pain. It can be accompanied by (and perhaps linked to) to other physical and mental conditions that include fatigue, cognitive deterioration, irritable colon syndrome and sleeping disorders.

FibromyalgiaIt is not a rare disease, it affects more than one and a half million people in Italy, especially women, without differences in age and in the latest years there are several associations and movements from below created to raise people’s awareness on this disease.

A study carried out by Dr Shai Efrati and the team of the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research presented in 2015 and published on Plos ONE, aimed at evaluating the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on the symptoms and the cerebral activity in fibromyalgia syndrome.

More than 48 women with fibromyalgia completed 2 months of therapy with hyperbaric oxygen.

The study produced evidence that HBOT can improve symptoms and life quality of the patients affected by fibromyalgia. It also has produced evidence that it can cause neuroplasticity and significantly rectify the irregular cerebral activities in areas linked to the fibromyalgia patients’ pain.

At the recent EUBS 2017 Congress fibromyalgia and hyperbaric therapy raised a great debate.

Dr Efrati, who took part to the Congress, explained in a brief interview that the problem of fibromyalgia is not where you feel pain, but in the brain, especially in the area whose task is to interpret pain.

Furthermore, he explained that people affected by fibromyalgia live like inside a virtual reality: they feel pain but they don’t perceive it in a specific part of the body. Today it’s not only possible to map these specific areas, but it is also possible to state that the 70% of fibromyalgia patients improve significantly thanks to HBOT.

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