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Experimental Treatment May Help Relieve Back Pain

Study Shows Injections of Ozone Helped Treat People With Back Pain Due to a Herniated Disc

Ozone Therapy for Back Pain continued...

Lehnert says he added the steroid to reduce inflammation because 50% of the pain is due to inflammation in the herniated area.

Using computer imaging for guidance, the doctor guides the needle used to deliver the ozone/steroid treatment directly into the herniated disc. Patients require no more than a local anesthetic.

While patients in the study only got one injection, more may be needed, he says.

Importantly, imaging studies showed patients' disc volumes shrunk by 2% to 15% in the study. "If you reduce the volume, it won't be pushing against the nerve, causing pain," Lehnert says.

There were no serious complications, and no one had an allergic reaction. Some people complained of pain around the area in the back where the needle was injected; it went away after a few days.

In other studies, there have been reports of increased pain and bleeding in the eyes, Lehnert says.

Jeffrey Peterson, MD, professor of radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., says the technique is promising.

"We're already using similar procedures for steroid injections," says Peterson, who moderated the session at which the findings were presented. "What’s different here is the medical ozone."

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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