Questions about MS? Call us on 0808 800 8000
The photo shows two oxygen canisters next to each other.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for MS

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) is a complementary therapy where you sit in a pressurised chamber and breathe oxygen through a mask.

The levels of oxygen in your blood and in your different body tissues go up when you start HBO.

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

During HBO treatment you'll be placed in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber breathing pure oxygen. The pressure in the chamber is controlled to be up to three times that of regular air pressure. This allows your body to gather much more oxygen than it would normally.

HBO is an accepted therapy for some medical conditions such as:

  • burns
  • decompression sickness
  • serious infections
  • tissue injury caused by radiation
  • carbon monoxide poisoning.

Benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for MS

Some people with MS report benefits from using this type of treatment. But there's no scientific evidence that HBO therapy for MS works well. There are claims that this treatment may be helpful for managing your MS bladder.

The NICE guideline for MS, which sets standards for treatment in the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, was updated in 2022. The updated guideline doesn't mention HBO therapy for treating MS in general. The only symptom it mentions is fatigue, where the new guideline doesn’t recommend HBO therapy to treat it.

You can find HBO treatment in most Neuro Therapy Network centres. Usually hyperbaric oxygen doesn't cause serious side effects.

Find out more about complementary therapies in our booklet