It is one of the most common rheumatic diseases. In Switzerland, it is estimated at 2 to 4% of the population with a strong female predominance.
Characteristics of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition of unknown origin that causes pain and stiffness throughout the body, trouble sleeping, fatigue, and depression. Patients are often anxious and report problems with concentration, memory and difficulty thinking. Sometimes there is bloating, abdominal pain and constipation.
Aim of treatment
Ideally, treatment should be prescribed by a therapeutic team led by a rheumatologist with the goal of improving pain and quality of life. Patients are prescribed painkillers, physiotherapy, yoga, exercise, psychotherapy, and strategies for self-management of stress and pain.
Clinical studies on HBOT
- 2004: HBOT significantly improves symptoms of fibromyalgia compared to controls.
- 2018: HBOT awakens areas of the brain that hid early childhood trauma. Once those repressed memories surfaced again, all symptoms of fibromyalgia disappeared.
- 2018: 60 HBOT sessions cured fibromyalgia symptoms in a group of women with childhood sexual abuse. 20 sessions brought only a partial improvement.
- 2021: Sustainable improvement symptom of fibromyalgia with 40 HBOT sessions.
- 2021: 40 HBOT sessions compared to classic therapy improved pain, psychological variables, fatigue, and sleep quality.
- 2023: Fibromyalgia after brain trauma: regarding to pain intensity, HBOT is better than the classic drug therapy, namely pregabalin or duloxetine.
Practical use of HBOT
The most recent studies tend to show that 60 sessions bring the best results.