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Oxygen therapy could assist Berrick Barnes recover from 'footballer's migraine'

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THE director of a hyperbaric clinic in Brisbane claims oxygen therapy will help Wallabies and NSW Waratahs playmaker Berrick Barnes recover from his concussion issues.

Stuart Bain, the director of Hyperbaric Worx, was keen to get in touch with Barnes after he announced yesterday he was taking an indefinite break from the game. Barnes said he was seeking alternative treatment for his "footballer's migraine", a symptom of concussion, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy seemed to fit that description.

The only HBOT clinic in Queensland, Hyperbaric Worx treats patients with auto-immune disorders, cardiac disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, spinal cord injury and Parkinson's. But Bain said oxygen therapy could also treat concussion.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves having a patient inhale oxygen pressurised to a level greater than atmospheric pressure. "We can help Berrick," Bain said. "The brain sits inside a solid skull and rattles around. It's like smashing your leg. The brain is no different.

"We would put him in a hyperbaric chamber and he would breathe 100 per cent oxygen. The oxygen would rebuild any damage caused by head blows. It doesn't damage the brain and there are no side-effects.

"I've been doing it for 16 years. From Berrick's perspective, it would be better to get it done as soon as possible. "The longer you leave it, the longer it takes to heal."

Hyperbaric Worx is affiliated with the International Hyperbaric Medical Association, which was based in the US. Bain hopes hyperbaric oxygen therapy would become more widely adopted, which would make it more affordable.

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