Oxygen-Ozone Therapy: An Alternative to Injections and Spine Surgery?
A study published in 2014 examined the long-term effectiveness of oxygen-ozone therapy by reaching out to patients 10 years after their initial therapy. The authors concluded that oxygen-ozone injections are safe and effective in approximately 75% of patients who have herniated discs—and the benefit lasts through 10 years. The authors went on to say that the therapy is worth exploring before considering surgery.
How Oxygen-Ozone Treatment Works
Oxygen-ozone gas is given via an injection into the herniated disc. A needle delivers the treatment directly to the disc, and it reduces the volume within the disc. This is due to the oxidation of proteoglycans, which are proteins found within the gel-like center of the disc (called the nucleus pulposus). When your disc volume is reduced, the pressure on nerves is also reduced. This, in turn, lowers the amount of pain you feel.
Benefits of Oxygen-Ozone Treatment
Besides a shorter recovery time and lower complication rate than surgery, other benefits of oxygen-ozone injections include:
- It is minimally invasive.
- It is an outpatient procedure.
- It takes little time to administer.
- It costs much less than surgery.
- It is a pain-free procedure.