Gabriel Jesus

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Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus has made headlines after his club organised the use of an oxygen chamber to help his recovery from surgery.

The Brazilian hotshot broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during Man City’s match against Bournemouth last month and could be sidelined for up to three months.

In a bid to get the Samba star back in action before the end of a busy season Jesus has been sent to a specialist surgeon in Barcelona and underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to try to boost his recovery from an operation on his foot.

Explaining some of the benefits of alternative treatments Melanie Burden – Head of Personal Injury at Simpson Millar LLP – claims that some lesser known treatments can have a positive impact, especially in instances of chronic pain.

Oxygen Chamber

HBOT involves breathing pure oxygen in a room or tube that is pressurised at a higher level than usual atmospheric pressure.

Usually the treatment is used for decompression sickness, also known as the bends, suffered by deep sea divers.

The treatment can also be used to treat serious infections, bubbles of air in blood vessels, and wounds that do not heal because of diabetes.

Anecdotal evidence also exists for oxygen chambers helping treat conditions that include sports injuries, chronic pain conditions, and brain injuries.

Oxygen chambers work due to their higher pressure, as under these conditions lungs can gather more oxygen. This higher intake of pure oxygen is then carried through the body and helps fight bacteria and causes the release of growth factors and stem cells, which can promote healing and is thought to improve recovery times.

While evidence of oxygen chambers aiding recovery after surgery is not forthcoming it is thought that Man City hope the well-established wound-healing properties of HBOT will help Jesus return to action quicker than first anticipated.

Benefits Of Alternative Treatments

Footballers are well known for attempting alternative treatments to try and recover from injuries and ailments, with many players praising ice baths and acupuncture as ways to relieve the pain of playing competitively.

Some footballers go even further and attempt alternative medicines and spiritual healing; former England manager Glenn Hoddle was widely ridiculed for his long working relationship with a faith healer, whom he hired as a consultant during the 1998 World Cup when he was England manager.

Jesus is not the first player to use an oxygen chamber to recover from injury, in a move that was widely reported at the time Wayne Rooney used the treatment to try and recover from a broken foot in time for the 2006 World Cup, a tournament in which Rooney featured for England in four matches.

Commenting on alternative treatments Melanie said:

“It’s good that an alternative treatment is making headlines as there seems to be a lack of knowledge, understanding, and in some sense belief in some of these lesser known – but completely well-founded – treatments.”

“For many of the chronic pain sufferers that I represent, alternative treatments such as cupping, acupuncture, and indeed even oxygen chambers can offer some much needed respite from daily pain.”

“Medicating injuries and long-term pain can have serious side effects and in many instances do not offer any real recovery or sufficient pain relief so in many instances alternative treatments can be the best way to aid recovery.”

“In the case of Gabriel Jesus the benefits of HBOT for recovery after surgery are anecdotal, but it is likely that both player and club have a ‘why not’ approach to the treatment, as the striker has a long spell on the sidelines.”

“As a Man City fan myself I do hope the treatment works and that Jesus will recover in time for what I hope will be finals in the Champions League and FA Cup!”

Written by Melanie Burden.

For more information on chronic pain and the services offered by Simpson Millar, please call:

0808 129 3304

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