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Exercise Before Diving Prevents Decompression Sickness

Scuba diving involves millions of people worldwide. Decompression sickness following diving is initiated by the formation of gas bubbles in tissue and blood.
The most common decompression related problem in sports divers is injury of the central nervous system, the risk of which is higher with increasing number of bubbles. Preventive measures to reduce the risk of decompression sickness include breathing oxygen and reducing decompression speed, however researchers recently identified a simple non-drug alternative for decreasing bubble formation. In healthy divers they showed that a single bout of strenuous exercise 24 hours before a simulated dive significantly reduced the number of bubbles in the pulmonary artery compared to dives without preceding exercise.

Journal of Physiology March 2004

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