Ozone Therapy

 

 

Ozone Therapy is a medical treatment  involving the use of a gaseous mixture of oxygen and ozone in suitable concentrations, volumes and methods of administration, for the treatment of numerous pathologies.

A gas?

Ozone is a gas formed by combining three atoms of oxygen generated by the passage of an electrical current through oxygen. It is a strong oxidant and for living beings is a highly poisonous gas. It is, however, a gas essential to life on Earth because of its ability to absorb ultraviolet light; the ozone layer in the stratosphere protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet UV-C  rays from the Sun.

The use of a gas for therapeutic purposes is a condition of particular importance that requires suitable apparatus and instruments, appropriate methodological knowledge and precise therapeutic indications.

Oxygen is present in nature in the form of a diatomic molecule. This means that if we imagine an oxygen atom as a tennis ball, the oxygen we breathe is constituted by two tennis balls together, or better, very close.

When an oxygen-rich environment, such as air,  is subjected to an electric shock – such as lightning – the structures of several diatomic oxygen molecules break down to form new triatomic molecules, consisting of three oxygen atoms together, that is, three tennis balls. The new molecule is called Ozone. Ozone is a gas, like oxygen, but heavier because it is constituted of three atoms and is extremely unstable. This means that, once produced, the triatomic molecule ozone tends to break down quickly to get back to being a diatomic molecule of oxygen – that is, two tennis balls together – and one solo atom of oxygen , i.e. a single tennis ball.

The solo oxygen atom has a number of features and qualities that for now we do not wish to evaluate. We’ll just say that many of the effects of ozone are actually the effects of solo atoms, which can be considered as “messengers” of ozone.

Of course,  oxygen is one of the key components of ozone and plays an important role in determining the therapeutic effects.

 

But is it not toxic?

Unlike the ozone present in smog, ozone used in medicine is produced from 99.6% pure medical oxygen  through which is passed an electric discharge. The oxygen contained in air cannot be used because of the simultaneous presence of nitrogen and the consequent possible formation of Oxides of Nitrogen.

Certainly the Ozone, because of its natural tendency to break up into diatomic oxygen and single oxygen atoms, is toxic in the airway (this is one of the dangerous pollutants that makes breathing difficult in cities) but causes very different  therapeutic results when administered into tissues or substances with antioxidant systems. Antioxidants serve to prevent oxidation of the Ozone, single oxygen and other oxidizing substances normally produced in living organisms.

 

The human body, conditioned  to live in an oxygen-rich environment such as air, has developed an extensive range of antioxidant substances diluted in huge amounts of water. This creates what in medicine is called the “Ozone Paradox”: that is that a gas, toxic in the airway, becomes therapeutic when administered  via other methods.

 

How is it produced?

The ozone must be produced shortly before  administration through a machine equipped with an electrode capable of producing an appropriate electric discharge because of the natural tendency to change back into a diatomic oxygen and single oxygen atoms, in fact, after only 55 minutes 50% of the ozone content  becomes  oxygen once again.

For this reason  pre- made ozone vials cannot be found on the market, because a few hours after preparation they would become  simply vials of Oxygen!

Like other drugs medical ozone can carry out its action in different concentrations, determined  from time to time by variations such as temperature,  pressure and the flow velocity of the gas. This is due to the gaseous nature and instability of ozone. All this requires the use of extremely precise apparatus – equipped with measuring instruments that continuously monitor the concentration. Finally the machines and  environment  for therapeutic activity should be provided with appropriate means of abatement of excess ozone to avoid any airway problems.

 

Methods of administration and pathologies treated

Ozone is not a cure for all pathologies but it is a viable alternative that allows healing without invasive procedures or treatments burdened with significant side effects or when other therapies have not produced the desired results.

The pathologies which can be treated with ozone therapy are numerous, similarly are  numerous the techniques by which ozone can be administered. Generally  speaking we can distinguish these as follows:

1. Via infiltration

2. Autohemotherapy

3. Ozone Bag

4. Ozonated water

5. Ozonated oil

 

1. Ozone via infiltration

The infiltration technique represents  the most widely used  treatment for the intervertebral disc and degenerative arthritic diseases, both vertebral  and  articular and other degenerative diseases such as tendon tendinitis and tendinosis. Ozone can also be used for cosmetic purposes in treatment for cellulite. The infiltrative techniques are varied, each suited to specific pathologies:

 

Infiltration techniques                                           Pathologies

Intramuscular                                                herniated disc/disc protrusion/

                                                                               bulging disc/spinal canal stenosis/

                                                                               spinal osteoarthritis

Intraforaminal                                                herniated disc/disc protrusion/

                                                                               bulging disc/spondylolisthesis

Intra-articular                                                 hip osteoarthritis/knee osteoarthritis/

                                                                               gonarthrosis/shoulder osteoarthritis/

                                                                               rizartrosi

Subcutaneous                                                   plantar fascitis/rizartosi

Peritendinous                                                   epicondylitis/epitrochleitis/

                                                                                 tendinitis/tendinosos/

                                                                                 partial tendon lacerations

Perinervous                                                        Morton’s neuroma

 

2. Ozone therapy through autohemotherapy

This is the route by which ozone  arrived in Italy about 35 years ago from Germany where, still  today, it  is the main system of treatment with ozone. The technique involves the removal of a small quantity of blood which is collected in a special container containing an anticoagulant. Subsequently the blood is put into contact with a mixture of Oxygen-Ozone. After about two minutes the blood undergoes a series of biochemical changes and is then reinfused. This therapy leads to an improvement of microcirculation and an oxygenation device with indication for treatment of all arterial, peripheral ulcers from venous insufficiency, diabetic foot ulcers, surgical and non surgical wounds having difficulty healing, senile maculopothy degenerative dry form, the diabetic maculopathy.

Very often these injuries are so advanced and of a debilitating nature requiring surgical intervention including amputation. The combination of ozone bags  and autohemotherapy has allowed many patients to avoid amputation.

Similarly  increased antioxidant capacity in the body can be noticed bringing  with it a feeling of well-being and reduction in stress this then allows us to use autohemotherapy in all pathologies characterized by fatigue, such as fibromyalgia. Unfortunately,  this treatment is regarded  as ‘doping’ in sport, particularly those featuring  prolonged exercise, such as  a cycling, swimming, running events.

 

3. Ozone therapy in closed cavities or through bags: Ozone bag

This is another  technique that, historically, has proved effective in the local treatment of ulcers caused by peripherial venous insufficiency, diabetic foot ulcers, surgical and non-surgical wounds that  tend not to heal.

Intra-vaginal administration is an important indicator for the treatment of vaginal candidiasis (thrush).

 

4.Ozone therapy through ozonated water

Ozone is bubbled in demineralized water, the ozone purifies the water from viruses and bacteria (it is in fact used as a disinfectant in swimming pools to reduce the amount of chlorine accumulating within the water} it can be used as a disinfectant for skin lesions (ulcers, wounds, rhagades), in mucosal infections and by irrigation (gastritis Helicobacter pylori infection, vaginal candidiasis).

 

5. Ozone therapy through ozonated oil

You can use creams and oils subjected to an ozonation process, exposing  it to ozone will alter its structure, combining it with the oily substrate. Over time this substrate releases  ozone helping to oxygenate the skin or mucosa on which it is smeared. In this way can be treated burns, skin infections, onset of hemorrhoids, ulcers or wounds. Some creams are also typically used  for aesthetic  and anti-aging purposes.

Ozonated oil, characterized by a pungent and unpleasant odor, can be used directly or combined with creamy or perfumed oils. These products are currently selling in all pharmacies, a  pleasant form of  treatment for skin  conditions or purely as a beauty  treatment in day and night creams.