Concussion & Headache
Whether it is due to a sports injury, car accident, or other trauma, a concussion can produce headaches, problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. Our office provides a breakthrough mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This is an alternative medicine option that may be very helpful. Our team has years of experience providing this treatment to patients with headache, concussion and post-concussion syndrome, fibromyalgia and
Oxygen therapy can support the brain's own healing processes. Our treatments involve a one-hour session at 1.3 ATA (atmospheres absolute), breathing 95% oxygen by non-rebreather mask. This delivers 5.8 times the available oxygen in our atmospheric air.2
The brain is the most highly metabolic organ in our body. It consumes 20% of the oxygen we breathe and 25% of all available carbohydrates despite being only 10% of our total body weight. With that much metabolic activity, the brain is normally slow to heal because it struggles to function and repair simultaneously. In a higher oxygen environment at one-hour intervals, the brain has access to more resources for healing. Our clinical experience has
shown over multiple cases that this treatment can be helpful for concussion, post-concussion syndrome, chronic headaches, fibromyalgia and untreated obstructive sleep apnea.
Oxygen is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it causes blood vessels to shrink, thereby relieving pressure on the brain. Caffeine, commonly used to alleviate headaches, works in a similar way. Indeed, breathing oxygen is a proven treatment for cluster headaches.1 This may be associated with rehabilitation of vascular tone and/or re-balancing the autonomic nervous system by reducing sympathetic activation (fight or flight response).
Over the years, we have identified 6-10% of patients with post-concussion syndrome that do not respond well or completely to the oxygen treatments. In this group, we have found a level of vestibular dysfunction that can be identified by a quality and thorough neurological exam. These patients usually respond well to vestibular training rehabilitation. It is important to assess what exactly is being treated. The first step in solving a problem is to
clearly identify the underlying problem or “root cause”. Dr. Zinnanti provides treatments that can
relieve symptoms while continuing an investigation into root cause.
Disclaimer: low-pressure, fabric hyperbaric chambers (operating at less than 1.4 ATA) marketed for sports and
alternative medicine, have a U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for Acute Mountain Sickness only and are designed to be compressed only with air.2 Use of mild hyperbaric oxygen for the conditions listed above is considered off-label and alternative or complimentary medical care.
1. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Feb 15;71(4):717-724.
2. UHMS Position Statement on mild HBOT https://www.uhms.org/images/Position-
Call 831-600-7697 To Schedule an Appointment Today!
"My son had a traumatic brain injury a couple years ago. Besides the oxygen therapy, Dr. Zinnanti has discovered several treatments which are making a real difference. Where other doctors seem to just wish you the best, Dr. Zinnant's determination and compassion are incredibly refreshing."
Linda Appleton, Parent
This website contains general information relating to various medical conditions and their treatment.
Such information is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for
advice provided by a physician or other qualified healthcare professional after a thorough history and
exam. Patients should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing a health or fitness
problem or disease. Patients should always consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional for
medical advice or information about diagnosis and treatment. Our office would be glad to make an
appointment to meet with you and conduct a thorough history and exam in order to provide you with
quality medical advice.
© 2013 William Zinnanti MD PhD