Just wondering if any of you ladies have come across this as a potential treatment for our kids.  I know that it is being used with CP and Autistic kids with some success.  I’m not sure it would really be appropriate for our little guys, or at least no more beneficial than it would be for a typical, healthy person.  But, because it is popular in other formats I’m having trouble getting any decent, related info.



  • The timing of your post is so interesting. I’m about to post a story about a little girl with Spina Bifida who went to Mexico to get stem cell treatment, but ended up having complications which resulted in loss of oxygen and a hypoxic brain injury. She has been doing scalp acupuncture and is showing slow improvements after each treatment.

    Anyhow, yesterday she mentioned to me that she is considering HBOT, which I had to Google to find out stands for Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment.

    I also don’t know about how or if it could help our little ones, but I will do some poking around. Perhaps someone else will know?!?

  • I’ve done a little bit of research on hyperbarics in the past couple of days and though it is used to treat neuropathy in general, I can’t find anything about its use in the treatment of Spina Bifida.

    The one story that keeps popping up over and over is about a man with Spina Bifida who regained the use of his legs after deep sea diving. I am very suspect of this story. If you Google “Mark Chenoweth Spina Bifida” you will see what I mean. The story is quoted on many different sites, but it feels more like an urban legend than a real story to me. The only credible source I can find is in the Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Journal linked on the Rubicon Foundation website. I’ve used archive sources to read cached articles and even made some phone calls, but I don’t have anything yet. One of the articles online says he, “He has even undergone tests in a special high pressured chamber, studied by doctors in Egypt, who have tried to discover why diving has enabled him to walk. But so far they have come up with no answers.”


    I wish there were more research with Spina Bifida patients. One of our favorite ND doctors in Spokane has a hyperbaric chamber. I might give her a call and see what she thinks. On her site it says, “Hyperbaric oxygen treatments deliver increased oxygen to the lungs and other parts of the body, including the plasma, bone, cells and all body fluids. This pressurized oxygen enters the cerebral spinal fluid and crosses the blood-brain barrier, entering the brain cells.”

    Whether the diving story is true or not, his case seems unique anyway, but the use of oxygen to speed nerve growth or healing seems plausible to me.

    I read a study on hyperbarics and neuropathy that said, “They conclude that this study provides additional evidence of a link between tissue oxygen levels from hyperbaric oxygen treatment and the health of peripheral nerves.” And another that said, “… all animals exposed to hyperbaric oxygen “demonstrated characteristics expected of in the advanced stages of a healed nerve”

    Hopefully there will be more research in the future.

  • I read that story about the diver too. Not sure if its real, but even if it is, he had normal use of his legs for years first, at least from what I remember reading. So I don’t put that in the same category.

    From what I can find it is used with CP and Autism because it helps increase cognitive abilities etc. That makes a lot of sense to me, particularly with CP. But, of course, it really has no strong implication for SB. Most of our kids are cognitively OK. I realize there are some that struggle, and maybe it would help those. But as an overall approach, I’m not sure it applies.

    Interesting though. I’d love to see more info if there ever is any.

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