Hyperbaric oxygen treatment for delayed muscle soreness following exercise was not associated with any clinical or laboratory improvement.

Clinical Bottom Line:
1. No apparent effect of hyperbaric oxygen treatment on DOMS when assessed by pain, leg circumference, CPK or basal/stimulated neutrophil function.

Appraised by: Mike Bennett, Dept. of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney; Thursday, 23 September 1999

Clinical Scenario: A patient presented complaining of painful muscles following unaccustomed exercise. We wondered if hyperbaric oxygen would modify the clinical course or have an effect on the neutrophil response.
Three-part Question: In patients with delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS), does treatment with hyperbaric oxygen compared to no specific treatment, result in any decrease in pain, swelling or markers of neutrophil response?
Search Terms: Exercise, neutrophil

The Study:
Double-blinded concealed randomised cross-over trial with intention-to-treat.
Healthy male volunteers. Subjects were crossed-over after a six week recovery period.
Control group (N = 12; 12 analysed): Volunteers underwent a resistance exercise challenge to the legs followed by three sham hyperbaric exposures breathing air at 1.34 ATA for 60 minutes within 12 hours.
Experimental group (N = 12; 12 analysed): As above but treatments were at 2 ATA breathing 100% oxygen.

The Evidence:
No quantitative evidence given.

1. No results given in the abstract- only a comment that no significant differences found.
2. An apparent association between neutrophil inflammatory response and DOMS was found.
3. No comment on whether the subjects truly returned to baseline after cross-over.

Expiry date: March 2021

1. Borer RC, Rozenek R, Russo AC, Strauss MB. Delayed onset of muscle soreness, neutrophil inflammatory response and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine 1999 (Suppl); 26:12.