Micro-Tears and Muscle Recovery

Many athletes and sports enthusiasts experience muscle injuries at some point in their lives. One of the most common types of these injuries is known as “micro-tears”. These lesions vary in seriousness, but usually result in pain, dysfunction and sometimes may require long periods of recovery time to heal.

How Does a Hyperbaric Chamber Speed the Healing of Micro-Tears?

Hyperbaric chambers provide higher levels of oxygen to various parts of the body, including the muscles. This enhanced oxygen delivery can, in some cases, help speed up the healing process of micro-tears. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is often used as an adjunct treatment for muscle injury.

HBOT can also assist in speeding up the recovery process with its anti-inflammatory properties. Many of your body’s cell and tissue functions are dependent on oxygen – and that includes white blood cells. On top of fighting off bacteria, white blood cells are also behind cell replication and collagen formation, which play a vital role in muscle recovery.

A persisting symptom caused by micro-tears in the muscle is delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). By making more oxygen available to the healing muscles, you can help reduce DOMS as well as swelling and discomfort, consequently speeding up the recovery process.

Results from different studies have also suggested that the administration of hyperbaric oxygen might aid in accelerating recovery after acute muscle stretch injury, due to the role it plays in regenerating muscle fibres. According to the findings of a 2002 study in Japan, “oxygen supply in the healing ligament correlated closely with the increase in collagen synthesis”.

If you’re looking for an effective and natural alternative remedy to speeding up the recovery of micro-tears, contact The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Centre on 020 3733 4093 or at [email protected], and book a consultation with hyperbaric expert Robert Pender today.

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For those of you who are not clear on what micro-tears are exactly, we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions below.

What Are Micro-Tears in Muscle?

Your muscles are made up from a complex system of fibres, delicately woven together, that play a vital role in muscle movement and overall strength. In certain exercises – lifting weights for example – you can cause incredibly small tears to these muscle fibres. This damage is more widely known as “micro-tears”.

Can Muscle Damage Be Repaired?

Yes, certain cases of muscle damage, including micro-tears, can be repaired by your body’s own natural healing processes. Not only that, but your body also adapts the affected muscle fibres to better handle the stimulus that caused the tear in the first place. This cellular response also plays a large role in the muscle hypertrophy process, which is the scientific term for muscle growth.

How Long Does Muscle Micro-Tears Take to Heal?

There are varying degrees of micro-tear injuries, although they usually subside and altogether disappear after a week. Delayed onset muscle soreness usually occurs around 24 hours after the end of your exercise, lasting up to 72 hours.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can potentially accelerate the healing process, so you can recuperate faster, exercise longer, and overall improve your performance.


  • Barata, P., Cervaens, M., Resende, R., Camacho, Ó. and Marques, F. (2011). Hyperbaric Oxygen Effects on Sports Injuries. [online] PubMed Central®. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3382683/
  • Yeh, W., Lin, S., Lee, M., Tu, Y., Lee, K. and Ueng, S. (2007). Effects of hyperbaric oxygen treatment on tendon graft and tendon-bone integration in bone tunnel: Biochemical and histological analysis in rabbits. [online] Research Gate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6526903_Effects_of_hyperbaric_oxygen_treatment_on_tendon_graft_and_tendon-bone_integration_in_bone_tunnel_Biochemical_and_histological_analysis_in_rabbits
  • Kubo, K., Ikebukuro, T., Tsunoda, N. and Kanehisa, H. (2008). Changes in oxygen consumption of human muscle and tendon following repeat muscle contractions. [online] Research Gate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/23146783_Changes_in_oxygen_consumption_of_human_muscle_and_tendon_following_repeat_muscle_contractions
  • Ishii Y, e. (2005). Hyperbaric oxygen as an adjuvant for athletes. [online] PubMed. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16138784/
    Hopkinsmedicine.org. (n.d.). What You Need to Know About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. [online] Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/neurological/hyperbaric_oxygen_therapy_for_wound_healing_135,44
  • Delos D, Maak TG, Rodeo SA. (2013). Muscle Injuries in Athletes: Enhancing Recovery Through Scientific Understanding and Novel Therapies. [online] PubMed Central. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3899907/ [Accessed 29 Jan. 2019].
  • James, P., Scott, B. and Allen, M. (2014). Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Sports Injuries. [online] Omstc.org. Available at: https://www.omstc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Sports-Injuries-Article-from-P-Kliempt.pdf [Accessed 29 Jan. 2019].

Please note that although HBOT has been used for many years as a therapeutic intervention for a variety of indications, the evidence for its use remains uncertain which means that it is not proven by “randomized prospective controlled clinical experiment or trial” which is considered to be the strongest form of scientific evidence by conventional medical standards.

It is always recommended that clients visit their GP or Consultant if there is any medical problem before commencing HBOT. Our HBOT expert, Robert Pender regularly consults GPs and medical consultants or relevant members (MDs) of International Hyperbaric Medical Association when required whilst client’s confidentiality will be respected and protected throughout.

In accordance with UK and EU legislation, we confirm that there is no intention implied or otherwise that HBOT is given so with the intention of it being a cure, diagnosis or as a preventative for any disease. Any references, studies or testimonials on this website do not imply that similar results will occur when the same therapy is experienced by another.

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