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Principles of effective goal setting

Hyperbaric chambers

PE Review explains how hyperbaric chambers are used to help muscle injuries

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Hyperbaric chambers deliver oxygen at high pressure — inside the chamber there is 100% pure oxygen. This high partial pressure of oxygen means that there is a larger diffusion gradient between the air in the alveoli and the blood in the capillaries. More oxygen can diffuse into the blood, so the haemoglobin become fully saturated with oxygen and form more oxyhaemoglobin. Any excess oxygen dissolves into the blood plasma. As a result, more oxygen can reach the injured muscle than under normal atmospheric conditions.

The increased oxygen supply to the injured muscle will speed up rehabilitation time. This is because the myoglobin in the injured muscle cells will be able to pull this additional oxygen into the muscle, where it can be used by the mitochondria for energy production to power recovery. In addition, the increased oxygen supply has an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing any swelling. A decrease in swelling can reduce a sports performer’s perception of their injury, allowing more natural movement. This helps to limit any additional complications due to a change in movement patterns caused by a slower recovery. An increase in oxygen supply to the injured site also stimulates the production of more white blood cells in the muscle. White blood cells encourage growth and regeneration of the injured muscle fibres.

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Principles of effective goal setting

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