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Ben Amos

Ben Amos

Ben Amos

ISSUE 24 ARCHIVE - HBOT FOCUS: BEN AMOS

Victoria Brown

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used as an adjunctive therapy to treat sports injuries, from the acute traumatic injury, to muscle contusions and ankle sprains. It is also used in treatment of joint, ligament, and tendon injuries reducing recovery time.

The use of hyperbaric chambers by sporting professionals is no new craze; at our chambers in London and Rugby alone we have been consistently treating sporting professionals from a variety of different sports with HBOT since we opened in 2004. In more recent years a number of top premiership football clubs have also invested in having their own hyperbaric facilities on site for injured players.

This year alone we saw super cyclist Mark Cavendish in the Isle of Wight instagramming himself while on the O2 bibs and this time he wasn't recovering from a shoulder break.

There is no question why a sportsperson wouldn't choose HBOT, they need to be in great physical health and this does not stop after training has finished. Awareness is increasing in areas of care, recovery and wellbeing everyday and the use of HBOT growing alongside the stakes.

Hyperbaric oxygen helps with the reduction of swelling and facilitates soft tissue healing, the results cannot only help to speed up recovery but can also aid their performance and reduce fatigue.

I met with Ben Amos, Professional Footballer to find out about his experience of using HBOT to reduce fatigue throughout the season.

Hi Ben, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am originally from Macclesfield, but have been living on road most my life, sort of south Manchester area really, however I have come to London for the first time to live.

And how has your football career been so far?

I play professional football as a goal keeper for Bolton Wanderers and this year I am on loan to Charlton Athletic for the season which is how I arrived in sunny London. I joined Manchester United at the age of 11, and have played for Peterborough United, Molde and Oldham Athletic. I'm an England youth international, having represented at every level from Under-16 to Under-21.

How often do you train for football?

All the training is tailored around the games so each week it is dependable how many games we play. It tends to be about 5 or 6 sessions a week with two games.

Have you saved any more goals since starting treatment?

I have kept a few clean sheets this season which means I haven't conceded any of the games, who knows whether it is because of the chamber or not...

How do you find out about LDC?

I thought of all places in England there will probably be one in London if there is one. Had a Google about and found LDC. Thankfully the place I am living is right near a tube stop and the chamber is too, it makes sense on my day off to come and do it.

How did you about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

I listen to a lot of pod casts, one in particular on UFC fighting, a fighter mentioned HBOT as a tool for his improvement, he spoke about treatments during his training leading up to fights and aiding recovery after fights. In the past I have sort of experienced, not burn out as such, but periods of fatigue throughout the season; so thought I would give it a go.

How did you initially get in contact?

Had to email the Doc back and forth, this took a bit of time, then I had to attend a consultation with Doctor Oli and after that I was good to go for the following week.

What was your first dive in the chamber like?

It was different to anything I have done, I think I mentioned to you when we were in the pot that it's different in there when we are under pressure, my hips click loads. Big thing is managing the time whist you are inside. I do a treatment that lasts an hour and ten minutes and being the impatient person I am, it feels like longer. My advice is to definitely take a book in with you! There are no distractions except the book, some people enjoy the more than me it seems. Just sat there just reading takes a bit of getting used to for me. I have done the longer treatments but I was advised that the hour treatment is most appropriate for me both cost and time wise.

Next book lined up?

Floyd Mayweather

Since you've started have you felt the effect of the therapy on anything other that fatigue?

All I can say is I rarely get niggles now. I used to experience discomfort in my hips and elbows but no complaints of late. I have got a sore hand at the moment but it feels a bit better than it has done as the treatment has been helping with swelling.

What do you talk about when in the chamber?

It is hard to talk when you have got a mask on you face! It's only you that really talks to me in there (no surprise there) but normally I'll talk a glass eye to sleep.

If you had to go in the chamber for a diver recompression time (6 hours) who would you take with you?

I would take someone who can talk me to sleep, that would be you then. I'll take you there.

Have you got any strange chamber habits?

I go bare foot, is that weird? The first few times I went in I got so hot, my shins were sweating and I didn't really enjoy it so best thing to do is go bare foot as socks weren't going to help that. I would rather be too cold than too hot and you have blankets.

What do you eat after a dive?

Not my normal diet but on Wednesdays I treat myself to fish and chips! Hahah really not my normal diet but I need the good energy before hot yoga!

What session are you on?

Doing it a good few months now and my overall I would say I feel as good as I have ever felt.

Would you recommend the chamber to anyone?

I tried to get some mates from the team to come and do a session. I think that they enjoy their days off too much. I would definitely recommend the therapy.

Have you learnt anything about diving since you been here?

A little bit about the bends and the nitrogen bubbles, is that right?!

What are your plans for treatment moving forward?

If I move back up north or further a field I will have to have a re-think, see if there are any centres as great as LDC to get treatment at.

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