Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), is a chronic pain condition that typically affects one limb, though it can spread to other parts of the body. It is characterized by severe pain, swelling, changes in skin color and temperature, and often accompanied by alterations in hair and nail growth patterns. The exact cause of CRPS is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve dysfunction of the nervous system and abnormal inflammatory responses.

How HBOT Can Help CRPS Patients

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has shown potential benefits for CRPS patients by addressing several underlying mechanisms of the condition:

1. Reducing Inflammation and Edema

HBOT can help reduce inflammation and edema (swelling) associated with CRPS by:

  • Decreasing Pro-inflammatory Cytokines: HBOT reduces levels of inflammatory markers that contribute to tissue damage and pain.
  • Improving Microcirculation: Enhanced oxygenation promotes the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and improves blood flow, which helps reduce swelling and promote healing.

2. Alleviating Pain

Chronic pain is a hallmark of CRPS, and HBOT may help alleviate pain by:

  • Modulating Nerve Sensitivity: HBOT may affect nerve function and reduce hypersensitivity, leading to decreased pain perception.
  • Promoting Tissue Repair: By enhancing cellular metabolism and promoting tissue regeneration, HBOT supports healing of damaged nerves and tissues.

3. Improving Mobility and Function

CRPS can severely impair mobility and function of the affected limb. HBOT can improve:

  • Range of Motion: By reducing pain and inflammation, HBOT may enhance joint mobility and flexibility.
  • Physical Function: Improved tissue healing and reduced pain can contribute to better overall function and quality of life.

Scientific Evidence Supporting HBOT for CRPS

Research on HBOT for CRPS is limited but promising. Some studies and clinical reports suggest that HBOT can lead to significant pain reduction, improved function, and quality of life in CRPS patients. For example, a study published in the “Journal of Pain Research” reported favorable outcomes in CRPS patients treated with HBOT, including pain relief and improved mobility.


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) presents a potential adjunctive treatment option for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), offering benefits such as reduced inflammation, pain relief, improved mobility, and enhanced tissue healing. As research continues to evolve, HBOT may become increasingly integrated into comprehensive treatment approaches for CRPS, providing hope and improved quality of life for affected individuals.

If you or someone you know is dealing with CRPS, contact us for a free consultation. As with any treatment, individual results can vary, and it’s essential to have a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific condition and needs.