Dr Pradeep Muley
B ack pain is very common. 8 out of every 10 people will have it at least once during their lives. Acute back pain usually lasts for a few days to a few weeks and chronic back pain lasts for 3 or more months. Generally, in a day to day life, when we face issue related to teeth, a trip to the dentist for a root canal or other infection-related tooth problem may possibly have introduced us with medical oxygen-ozone therapy. But people are less aware with the fact that might their spine may get the benefit from this therapy as well. Small researches and studies on using ozone therapy to treat disc herniation, pain related to failed back surgeries, and even spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis are so far yielding promising results. Until a few decades ago, patient with disc herniation has one treatment option - surgery. But thanks to advanced technology, less radical option is now available, the noninvasive, “Oxygen-ozone therapy”. Noninvasive treatments are plainly the first choice in most cases, but when patients fail to respond surgery is warranted. What is Oxygen-ozone Therapy?
The Oxygen-ozone therapy is one of the most effective minimally invasive treatments currently available and the actions of ozone are - shrinkage of disc reduces nerve root compression, reduces venous stasis caused by disk compression of vessels, thereby improving local microcirculation and increasing the supply of oxygen, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects and administering medical ozone followed by injection of an anesthetic at the same session gives better result with success rate is about 80 per cent. Ozxygen-Ozone therapy treatment is known a highly effective and advantageous treatment to provide the relief from acute and chronic lower back. It is always be administered as a first option to treat lower back pain rather than epidural steroids. What is the procedure? Patient is given an intradiscal & periganglionic injection of an oxygen-ozone mixture at an appropriate concentration when ozone has a direct effect on the disk’s, resulting in its release of water molecules and subsequent cell degeneration of the matrix, which is replaced by fibrous tissues in the space of 5 weeks and the formation of new blood cells. Together, these events result in a reduction in disk volume. At the end of treatment, patients were advised to rest in supine position for 2 hours and walk away on the same day. Selection criteria are - low back pain resistant to conservative management, positive signs of nerve root involvement, CT/ MRI evidence of disk herniation, residues of surgical micro diskectomy with recurrent herniation. How it can be favorable treatment for Herniated Disks?
When we talk about discs, oxygen-ozone treatments are administered in one way or two way, or sometimes both : Either directly into the disc or into the paravertebralmuscles (are the long muscles that go lengthwise down either side of your spine known as erector spinae). Alongwith this, It can be used for many non-surgical treatments for various diseases like un-operable liver tumor, varicocele, bleeding from mouth due to chest TB, brain aneurysm and opening of blocked fallopian tubes that causes infertility. What are the advantages of OxygenOzone Therapy? Here are the following mentioned advantages of Oxygen-Ozone Therapy:- 1. It is less risky as compared to surgery, cheaper than traditional surgery. 2. No surgical scar on skin. 3. Exact localisation of the disease is possible through image guidance. 4. Procedure can be done under local anaesthesia, done as in OPD / day care basis. 5. Patients can resume normal activities within 1 to 2 day and its safety has been proven over many years in thousands of people. (The author is Head Interventional Radiologist, Fortis Hospital)