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  O2T... Oxygen Therapy...
Oxygen is essential to every tissue in the body

Oxygen Therapy consists of breathing medical oxygen through a mask in a specially constructed, pressure controlled chamber. The chamber at the Centre is capable of seating six people at a time. Oxygen Therapy is reported by people with MS to help improve symptoms such as fatigue, bladder function, balance and co-ordination. Oxygen therapy is becoming more widely used in aiding the healing of wounds, neurological disorders, head and spinal core injuries, muscle and tissue damage and particularly sporting injuries.  Many top professional footballers use the procedure to speed up recovery time after injury.

Oxygen is essential to every tissue in the body. Tissue needs oxygen for healing.  Recent research has shown that in the inflammation typical of MS the transport of oxygen is severely limited by tissue swelling. So despite the blood flow increasing many times there may be a severe lack of oxygen in the affected area just when oxygen is needed most, it cannot reach the tissue in sufficient quantity.  The use of this treatment in multiple sclerosis has been controversial, although studies have shown that it is beneficial, largely because function and expectations have been widely misunderstood.

MS is a disease of the nervous system that results in localised patches of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord which may eventually scar (sclerosis).  The affected areas are unable to accept sufficient oxygen from the blood stream unless more is dissolved in the blood. The process by which damage to the nervous system is caused in MS clearly cannot be prevented by oxygen therapy.  However, the body normally heals itself using oxygen from the air.  Breathing oxygen under pressure causes dilated and leaky blood vessels to constrict back to normal size and reduces the swelling, due to fluid gathering, which can lead to cells dying. Giving additional oxygen extends the body’s ability to heal and can limit some of the damage which MS may causes.  The aim of oxygen treatment in MS is thus to minimise the amount of damage being caused, promote rapid healing and limit scar formation which in turn can prevent nerve function being restored. Clearly this is most appropriate as soon as possible after symptoms become apparent.  The main objective of any useful therapy in the established disease is to limit further damage rather than expect to cure existing scars. Prevention is not only better but more realistic here than a cure.

Oxygen Therapy is available Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday  9.30am - 3.30pm

 

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