Hyperbaric oxygenation in fibromyalgia treatment

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by chronic and diffused muscular pain associated with rigidity. Its clinical diagnosis and characteristics are controversial and the possible treatments are object of continuous studies. The real etiology is unknown, but it is considered a rheumatic disease.

In Italy more than 1.5 million people suffer from fibromyalgia. The body parts particularly interested by pain are: backbone, shoulders, pelvic girdle, arms, wrists and thighs.

Chronic pain, which occurs at intervals, is often associated to mood and especially sleep disorders, as well as asthenia, that is to say chronic fatigue.

Recent studies, carried out by Prof. Shai Efrati and published by the University of Tel Aviv (Efrati_OTI_fibromialgia_2015) proved that fibromyalgia is caused by a neurotransmitters alteration that sending the wrong signals provokes a continuous muscular contraction which leads to pain and continuous rigidity.

At the Hyperbaric Centre of Ravenna we developed a multidisciplinary pathway for the treatment of this disease that complies with evidences and indications reported in the study.

The pathway includes:

  • psychotherapeutic approach for cognitive behavioural therapy (Dr. Emanuela Grazzini – psychologist – Dr. Giovanni Gaudenzi – neuropsychiatrist)
  • HBOT treatment (30 sessions at 1.9 bars)
  • physical therapy program including:
    • physiotherapy to improve the muscle tone and the CNS afferences
    • deep muscle relaxation therapy (Dr. Francesco Fontana)
    • hidrokinesitherapy
    • massage therapy with Spirotiger (Dr. Marco Gaudenzi – osteopath)
    • lymph drainage with Vodder therapy
    • acupuncture
    • neurostimulation with frequency modulation (FREMS) for analgesic therapy


All treatments are followed by medical specialists and the pathway is studied on the basis of the patients’ health conditions that have access to the treatments prior to rheumatological and/or neurological evaluation.

The HBOT’s goal is to demonstrate the improvement of the cerebral perfusion (highlighted by SPECT studies), pain and anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug doses reduction.

To better know the multidisciplinary pathway for fibromyalgia treatment, watch Dr. Nedjoua Belkacem’s video and check the slides of her presentation.

To book a visit and to receive more information, please contact our secretary at the +39 0544500152.