Herniated disc, bulging disc and slipped disc or disc prolapse are different terms used to refer to the same thing – the condition which causes discs in the spine to become inflamed or damaged. These damaged discs press against the nearby nerves and cause pain, numbness or weakness. Slipped disc is quite common and though it is not a typical ‘severe’ illness, it significantly decreases mobility and the quality of a patients’ life. Usually patients with a slipped disc go for medications and physiotherapy but these may not help in the long run as the pain keeps coming back. Consequently, a patient may have to go for surgery.
Ozone therapy is a safe and effective alternative to surgery. Research evidence shows that ozone reduces the levels of prostaglandins – compoundsin the body that activate inflammation and pain. This helps in shrinking the disc and thus easing pressure on nerves around it.
The therapy involves mixing the gas with steroid medicine and injecting it directly in the affected back area under a local anesthetic. Ozone therapy is minimally invasive and more effective than most other forms of treatment in not just reducing back pain, but also in reducing the dependence on analgesics.
Patients who have undergone ozone therapy for back pain report significant reduction in their disability. Some patients have also reported being completely pain free up to a period of six months.