Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion 

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HBOT helps alleviate long term symptoms of COVID, including alleviation of residual pneumonia, brain fog, fatigue, shortness of breath, joint pain, concentration, muscle pain, headaches, depression, anxiety and sleep problems.

  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been utilized for both emergency treatment immediately following a traumatic brain injury and for treatment for the long-term symptoms of an old injury.
  • Increased oxygen to the brain may reduce residual neuroinflammation and allow for more blood flow to the damaged tissues, so those areas of the brain are active again.
  • Hyperbarics is a very powerful anti-inflammatory, as it is common for inflammation within the brain to become chronic after an injury. 
  • ​Hyperbarics reduces swelling in the brain, so pressure does not builds on top of blood vessels making it easier for the blood to flow through the injured areas. So it does not result in decreased oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. 
  • Research from Dr. Paul Harch and others have shown that there is no time limitation on repairing damaged brain tissue. Patients have reported regaining full mobility and cognition after a series of hyperbaric treatments, even decades later.

“My son has had 6 concussions and was diagnosed 2 years ago with bipolar. After reading an article in PsychToday that talked about hyperbaric oxygen therapy helping a man with bipolar and concussions, we decided to try it out. After the first 35 sessions in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, our son was able to work full time again and he stopped calling in “sick” (unable to leave his home because of depression/mania), and his medications seem to work better.” 
~TH, Patient’s Father

Cranial Recovery
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any type of injury to the brain that has lasting side effects. A TBI can happen at birth if there is an injury to the baby during labor or delivery; in fact, some cases of Cerebral Palsy are considered TBIs. A concussion is also a form of a TBI. Larger TBIs are often seen in car accident victims and injured combat veterans who experience blunt force or blast trauma to the head. Internal injuries such as hypoxic events (near-drownings, choking, etc) and strokes are classified as non-traumatic brain injuries, but the long-term effects are often the same.
An injury to the brain creates immediate swelling or inflammation. This is a natural response to an injury as the body works to protect and respond to the injured area. Once the bleeding is controlled and scar tissue is formed, the inflammation is supposed to recede. Unfortunately, it is common for inflammation within the brain to become chronic. When the brain swells, pressure builds on top of blood vessels and it becomes difficult for the blood to flow through the injured areas. This results in decreased oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. Depending on where this occurs within the brain, the patient may experience a partial or complete loss of mobility or cognition. TBI patients often struggle with uncontrollable emotional responses, memory loss, and confusion. Severe TBIs can result in complete loss of brain function or death.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been utilized for both emergency treatment immediately following a traumatic brain injury and for treatment for the long-term symptoms of an old injury. According to research, in order for a patient to utilize HBOT during an acute TBI, they need to be treated within 48 hours of the injury. The pressurized oxygen can reduce any inflammation that has already begun at the source of the injury. It may also prevent the brain from having any long-term damage due to the lack of further inflammation in the tissues.

If a patient is unable to treat their acute TBI with hyperbaric therapy, they may still see benefits from the modality, even decades after the event. Increased oxygen to the brain may reduce residual neuroinflammation and allow for more blood flow to the damaged tissues. This can lead to partial or full repair of the brain. Research from Dr. Paul Harch and others have shown that there is no time limitation on repairing damaged brain tissue. Patients have reported regaining full mobility and cognition after a series of hyperbaric treatments.

“My son has had 6 concussions and was diagnosed 2 years ago with bipolar. After reading an article in PsychToday that talked about hyperbaric oxygen therapy helping a man with bipolar and concussions, we decided to try it out. After the first 35 sessions in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, our son was able to work full time again and he stopped calling in “sick” (unable to leave his home because of depression/mania), and his medications seem to work better.” 
~TH, Patient’s Father

TBI: Research Articles, Studies And Videos

Case control study: hyperbaric oxygen treatment of mild traumatic brain injury
Paul G. Harch, M.D.,* Susan R. Andrews, Edward F. Fogarty, Juliette Lucarini, and Keith W. Van Meter
Abstract
Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) persistent post-concussion syndrome (PPCS) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are epidemic in United States Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans. Treatment of the combined diagnoses is limited. The aim of this study is to assess safety, feasibility, and effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBOT) for mild TBI PPCS and PTSD. Thirty military subjects aged 18–65 with PPCS with or without PTSD and from one or more blast-induced mild-moderate traumatic brain injuries that were a minimum of 1 year old and occurred after 9/11/2001 were studied. The measures included symptom lists, physical exam, neuropsychological and psychological testing on 29 subjects (1 dropout) and SPECT brain imaging pre and post HBOT. Comparison was made using SPECT imaging on 29 matched Controls. Side effects (30 subjects) experienced due to the HBOT: reversible middle ear barotrauma (n = 6), transient deterioration in symptoms (n = 7), reversible bronchospasm (n = 1), and increased anxiety (n = 2; not related to confinement); unrelated to HBOT: ureterolithiasis (n = 1), chest pain (n = 2). Significant improvement (29 subjects) was seen in neurological exam, symptoms, intelligence quotient, memory, measures of attention, dominant hand motor speed and dexterity, quality of life, general anxiety, PTSD, depression (including reduction in suicidal ideation), and reduced psychoactive medication usage. At 6-month follow-up subjects reported further symptomatic improvement. Compared to Controls the subjects’ SPECT was significantly abnormal, significantly improved after 1 and 40 treatments, and became statistically indistinguishable from Controls in 75% of abnormal areas. HBOT was found to be safe and significantly effective for veterans with mild to moderate TBI PPCS with PTSD in all four outcome domains: clinical medicine, neuropsychology, psychology, and SPECT imaging. Veterans also experienced a significant reduction in suicidal ideation and reduction in psychoactive medication use.

Click here for full study

Subacute normobaric oxygen and hyperbaric oxygen therapy in drowning, reversal of brain volume loss

Paul G. Harch, M.D.1,* and Edward F. Fogarty2
Abstract
A 2-year-old girl experienced cardiac arrest after cold water drowning. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed deep gray matter injury on day 4 and cerebral atrophy with gray and white matter loss on day 32. Patient had no speech, gait, or responsiveness to commands on day 48 at hospital discharge. She received normobaric 100% oxygen treatment (2 L/minute for 45 minutes by nasal cannula, twice/day) since day 56 and then hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) at 1.3 atmosphere absolute (131.7 kPa) air/45 minutes, 5 days/week for 40 sessions since day 79; visually apparent and/or physical examination-documented neurological improvement occurred upon initiating each therapy. After HBOT, the patient had normal speech and cognition, assisted gait, residual fine motor and temperament deficits. MRI at 5 months after injury and 27 days after HBOT showed near-normalization of ventricles and reversal of atrophy. Subacute normobaric oxygen and HBOT were able to restore drowning-induced cortical gray matter and white matter loss, as documented by sequential MRI, and simultaneous neurological function, as documented by video and physical examinations.

Here's What I've Learned

New medical research Reveals most powerful treatment yet

From: Dr. AJ Ludlow
Stronglife Physiotherapy

There is a big difference between being alive and thriving.

To me thriving means living a capable, strong, independent and exhilarating life. Thriving means avoiding debilitating illness, aches and pains. This can be a challenge as we age. Wouldn't you agree?

As the owner at Stronglife Physiotherapy I have a rare opportunity to bring revolutionary medical technology to help those working toward this kind of life. This therapy will help my patients have an unfair advantage to living a healthier life. As you'll see below, this treatment offers hope and healing for a wide range of conditions including many that don't have many other treatment options. 

See Testimonial Videos Of Patients' Experiences

Recovery For Athletes:
✅ 75% faster recovery from marathons, intense workouts, surgery, illness, weightlifting and more!
✅ Concussions, headaches, amazing for traumatic brain injury
✅ More energy, stamina, go longer, harder
✅ More mental clarity, eliminates brain fog, better focus even for ADD and autism
✅ The edge for athletes, try it a day before and after a big race!

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has helped this patient: 
✅Migraines/headaches, less intense, less of them
✅Pain relief
✅Recovery from exercise and injury
✅Helps with achy joints from aging
✅Boundless energy, feel vibrant!
✅More mental clarity, less overwhelmed
✅Relaxation, less anxious and stressed

Stroke recovery in these ways:
✅Faster recovery
✅Restore feeling and movement in affected limbs
✅Restore connectivity to muscles
✅Hair growth
✅Eliminate Lupus rash
✅Improves natural feeling and sensitivity
✅Improvements in strength
✅Improved mobility
✅Improved brain function and confidence
✅Brain fog

Using hyperbaric made a huge difference for
✅Neuropathy pain, pins and needles
✅Being able to wear shoes again, stand for extended periods of time
✅Sore feet including plantar fasciitis pain (from other patient testimonials)
✅Nerve recovery, restores natural feeling and sensitivity
✅Improved sleep quality, deeper and longer
✅ Improved quality of life

Hyperbarics offers hope and healing!


Dr. Paul Harch, MD

Dr. Harch treats traumatic, hypoxic and anoxic brain injuries

About Our "Stronglife" Hyperbaric Oxygen Clinic

About Dr. AJ Ludlow, DPT

About Dr. AJ Ludlow, DPT

Dr. AJ Ludlow is passionate about finding the most innovative ways to keep his patients from being in pain and struggling with debilitating disease for years. He wants to bring the best medical technology the world can offer to the state he loves and the people he wants most to help.

A California native, but has lived a total of 15+ years in Utah between receiving his undergraduate at Brigham Young University and his doctorate at the University of Utah, he now calls Utah his home!

He has traveled and researched extensively to find the most effective solutions for injury and pain. What someone would have once had to travel outside the US for, is now available right here in Provo, UT. 

Dr AJ Ludlow Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Provider in Provo Utah, stronglife physiotherapy AJ ludlow doctor of physical therapy physical therapist in provo Orem utah

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of hyperbaric chamber do you use?
We use soft chambers that reach 1.3 atmospheres of pressure. This is considered mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy and has several advantages over hard chambers. When it comes to pressure with HBOT, more is not necessarily better. Most chronic or non-emergency conditions respond better to lower pressures. You still get a healing dose of oxygen and pressure without the higher risks that come with higher pressure chambers. It is much more affordable than hard chamber sessions and it is even available for home use for those who have a hard time coming into the office for the recommended number of treatments.   
 
Am I a good candidate if my Doctor doesn’t think it will help?
A study found that 75% of medical schools offer little to no education on hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Most doctors have very limited understanding of hyperbarics. A practitioner with specialized knowledge of hyperbaric oxygen therapy will be better suited to answer your questions. When you consider how safe, natural and powerful hyperbarics can be, it is worth doing more research and seeking a second opinion from a knowledgeable practitioner. Many doctors who do educate themselves on hyperbaric oxygen therapy end up being very supportive and even change their practice of medicine to offer it. 
 
How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy help? 
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy delivers up to 3x the normal amount of oxygen throughout the body. This helps with healing, reducing inflammation, energy production, digestion, detoxification, concentration, recovery, etc. Many parts of the body do not receive sufficient oxygen, are damaged, or “turned off” because of an illness, or injury. For example tendons do not receive as much blood flow as muscles and are often more likely to be injured or strained. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy gets more oxygen to all parts of the body, reawakening cells, such as brain cells after a stroke, or heart cells after a heart attack. It gives the body a huge advantage to heal, repair and regenerate itself. As a result of the increased oxygen, the part of every cell in your body that produces energy (mitochondria) becomes stronger and more efficient, many negative symptoms from health conditions and aging disappear, and you have more energy and mental clarity. The more sessions you do, the more these changes become permanent. It positively affects your DNA and can turn some negative DNA markers off and turn positive ones on. For example, eliminating many allergic reactions and even putting some diseases into remission.
 
Does insurance cover hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is FDA approved, covered by insurance, for 14 conditions, even though many other conditions benefit from this treatment. It is used for over 200 different conditions in other countries with extensive research supporting its use. If hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used for any condition other than the 14 approved conditions it will be considered “off label’ and therefore not covered by insurance companies. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a regenerative treatment and insurance companies, unfortunately, have a bad track record of covering regenerative medicine. The FDA approved conditions are: air embolism, gas embolism, acute traumatic ischemia, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, smoke inhalation, diabetic foot ulcers, exceptional blood loss, decompression sickness, gas gangrene, necrotizing infections, severe anemia, skin grafts and flaps and wound healing. If you have one of the FDA approved conditions it is recommended that you seek care at a facility that can bill insurance for the treatment. 
 
Is hyperbaric oxygen safe? 
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is extremely safe, especially the type offered at Stronglife. Our chamber goes to 1.3 ATM which is the equivalent pressure of being 10 feet under water. We also provide supplemental oxygen directly to you through a nasal cannula instead of pressurizing the entire chamber with 100%. This means there is no risk of oxygen toxicity and no risk of a small spark causing a fire or explosion, with higher pressure and higher oxygen levels the risks go up. 
 
The main risk with any form of hyperbaric oxygen treatment is the (small) risk of damage to the ear drums. While the chamber is being pressurized, you will notice pressure building in the ears (similar to when on a plane or when under water). It is important to be able to equalize the pressure in your ears by yawning, pinching your nose and swallowing or pinching your nose while yawning. Most people are easily able to equalize the pressure. We will be standing by the whole time to assist with the process, and can pause the chamber or release pressure for those few who have a difficult time. 
 
While the majority of people notice they feel better after their HBOT session, there is at times a detox reaction also known as a Herxheimer reaction. This can result in flu-like symptoms including body aches, mild fever, fatigue, nausea or other symptoms. This is caused when harmful microorganisms die off and move towards elimination in the body. While this can be an unpleasant experience it is actually a good thing because the treatment is helping the body excrete these harmful mircoorganisms from the body like Lyme bacteria, Epstein-Barr Virus, mold toxins and others. After several treatments these symptoms will fade and are replaced by higher energy levels and a greater feeling of wellbeing. 
 
 
Does hyperbaric oxygen therapy interact with medications: 
Very few medications are of concern (listed below).
Bleomycin
Cisplatin
Doxorubicin
Sulfamylon
Disulfiram
Mafernide Acetate
 
Can I do hyperbaric oxygen therapy if I am claustrophobic: 
Yes, we are standing by the entire time to turn off the chamber and let you out at a moment's notice. We have had many claustrophobic patients do the full treatment reporting afterwards that they had a pleasant experience and felt quite relaxed. The hyperbaric oxygen stimulates a relaxation response in the body, and most just read, use their phones or take a nap. Most are also surprised by how roomy the chamber feels on the inside. 
 
What does it feel like to do hyperbaric oxygen therapy? 
When asked, patients relate that it is a very relaxing experience. Before you get in we recommend using the bathroom. Then you remove any sharp objects from your pockets and remove your shoes. You climb into the chamber, it is on a platform, for those who have a hard time getting down on the floor. You will have an oxygen tube feeding oxygen directly to your nose.You lie down and relax on a thick pad and pillows. In the first 5 minutes the chamber comes up to pressure during which time you clear your ears multiple times, like when you are on an airplane or going over a summit while driving. After that, you’ll hear fresh air coming in and going out, like white noise. Many patients can sit up if they choose, but most prefer to lay down and relax. The last 5 minutes when it is depressurizing, you can feel some mild pressure on your ears, but most don’t even need to clear or “pop” their ears. Once it has depressurized, we unclasp it and you climb out. Most patients say they feel very relaxed afterward, “like walking on a cloud all day, “ chronic pain patients have told us, “it was the first time in months I wasn’t in pain.” There is no downtime, no need to take off work, you can immediately resume your normal activities. 
 
Are there times it is not advised to do hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
For the following situations, it is not recommended.
Untreated Pneumothorax (punctured lung)
Serious sinus congestion
Sickle Cell Anemia
High Fever
Hereditary Spherocytosis
COPD
Pregnancy
 
For any questions not addressed here please call or text us, we are happy to answer your specific questions regarding your unique health concerns.
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