Definition and Causes
Arthritis is a painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. A chronic pain disorder afflicting some 19 million adult Americans,
arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the US. The most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
but arthritis comprises more than 100 other inflammatory diseases and conditions, including fibromyalgia, gout, and lupus.
The definitive causes of arthritis are unknown. In osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, the cartilage, surrounding tissue,
and bone may be destroyed by physical wear, infection, or aging. In rheumatoid arthritis, a faulty immune response may cause inflammation
that erodes the joint linings called synovial membranes. There is no cure for arthritis. Many people with arthritis successfully manage
or improve their quality of life with physical therapy, exercise, weight control, and medications.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Approval Status
Treatment with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and other chronic pain disorders.
Some physicians may prescribe HBOT off-label as an adjunct or alternative to drug treatments and other common arthritis therapies.
HBOT may provide temporary symptom relief for some people with some forms of arthritis. Compared to other popular and effective treatment
options, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may never be cost-effective or practical for the daily management of such a lifelong chronic disease.
Still, if further research demonstrates the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a drug-free regimen might offer a welcome alternative
for some physicians and patients to consider.
HyperbaricLink recommends the following websites for anyone seeking authoritative information, patient advocacy, and community support for arthritis.
A national not-for-profit organization and the world’s largest private contributor to arthritis research since 1948, the Arthritis Foundation helps people
take control of arthritis through public health education, public policy and legislation, and evidence-based programs.
An open web forum where patients can share and learn from real-world health outcomes data, PatientsLikeMe is a for-profit company that shares data with
nonprofit research and pharmaceutical industry partners. Its fibromyalgia community numbers 14,000. Other arthritis-related communities are active and growing.
The arthritis entry in Wikipedia provides good basic information about the different types of arthritis.
HyperbaricLink offers a white paper on evidenced-based hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Request a copy by e-mail