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Oh, my aching back: Give me a shot of ozone
Date:3/9/2009

surgical diskectomy, but the complication rate is much less (less than 0.1 percent)," he added. "In addition, the recovery time is significantly shorter for the oxygen/ozone injection than for the diskectomy," said Murphy. "The spine is a stunningly beautiful piece of engineering, or, as our engineers say, the spine is like a complex electromechanical system. And the interventional radiology oxygen/ozone treatment takes a minimalist approach. It's all about being gentle," said Murphy.

"Ozone shrinks disk volume; this is why it provides pain relief," said Murphy, whose second study explored the mechanism of why oxygen/ozone treatment works. The bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in the back are cushioned by small, spongy disks. When these disks are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. But when a disk is damaged, it may bulge or break open. "There are millions of people with back pain who suffer and who can't work because of their pain. Undergoing invasive surgical diskectomy puts you on a path where you may be left with too little disk. Taking out a protruding disk may lose the shock absorption that naturally resides between them in the spine," said Murphy, who predicts this procedure will become standard in the United States within the next five years.

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of various results published for oxygen/ozone treatment in regards to pain relief, reduction of disability and risk of complications. More than 8,000 patients from multiple centers in multiple locations were included in the study. The estimated mean improvement for patients after treatment based on the 10-point visual analog scale (VAS), a standard tool for rating the disabling effects of back pain, was a change of 3.9 (with 0 being no pain and 10 representing worst pain experienced). The estimated mean improvement was 25.7 percent for the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), which measures one's ability to manage everyda
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@SIRweb.org
703-460-5572
Society of Interventional Radiology
Source:Eurekalert

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