Clinical Research in Orthopedics

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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy assisting elite sports recovery & performance - Cytokine modulation

Malcolm R Hooper

Oxymed, Australia

: Clin Res Orthop


Malcolm Hooper has over 23 year’s experience in modern applications of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. His patients include the international leadership and life coach Tony Robbins, and many other celebrities. There is a long list of world leading athletes who consult with Mal Hooper, all seeking that extra one per cent in recovery and performance. The majority of elite athletes are in a constant state of burn-out and with a growing ‘injury list’. High end athletes are confronted with a range of metabolic issues due to chronic mental fatigue, metabolic overload and constant international travel. When compared to sea level, international travel exposes the individual to prolonged inflight “hypoxia” at “lower altitude pressures”. Preparation, performance, recovery, travel ... it’s an endless loop. As tissue Oxygenation diminishes, metabolic burden rises and the range of injuries increase dramatically. Tissues exposed to constant hypoxia and excessive inflammation rapidly become ‘energy poor’ acting like a “mitochondrial handbrake”. Simply stated, you’re done! Improvement requires more than replacing your coach or getting another mind therapist, and there is more to it than simply training harder or taking another supplement. Cytokine gene expression testing is at the forefront of “clinical” sports science. Pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory gene expressions are specific to the individual. Cells in a chronic hypoxic state overexpress pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL1, Il6, IL7, IL8, IL17, TNFa, MMP9, S100B. How do these markers affect the athlete? How do you manage an athlete or a “team” in a “cytokine storm”? Hyperbaric Oxygenation is breathing 100 per cent oxygen at pressures greater than normal. But are the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) boasted? What are the real effects impacting recovery and performance? Can HBOT have a ‘negative effect’ on a competing athlete? Are all pressures and protocols the same? What is normobaric oxygen? What is the difference between an “soft inflatable chamber” versus a solid chamber capable of deeper pressures? How does HBOT for an athlete compare to hospital HBOT for complex medical disorders? Typically, we breathe 21 per cent oxygen (or less in larger populated cities). Hyperbaric drives greater levels of enriched oxygen into the blood plasma enabling the correction of local and systemic effects of hypoxia. Hyperbaric acts as a 'catalyst' promoting immune modulation


Malcolm R Hooper is an International Executive Director serving on both the International Hyperbaric Medical Foundation (IHMF) and the International Hyperbaric Medical Association (IHMA). He is a regular speaker at international symposiums on the topic of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy applications in the modern era.

E-mail: [email protected]

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