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Oxygen-Ozone Injections May Help Lower Back Pain

Intramuscular paravertebral injections linked to pain relief, lower intake of analgesic drugs

FRIDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Intramuscular paravertebral injections of oxygen and ozone may be helpful in relieving acute low back pain, according to research published in the June 1 issue of Spine.

Marco Paoloni, M.D., of the Azienda Policlinico Umberto I in Rome, and colleagues analyzed data from 60 patients with acute low back pain due to lumbar disc herniation who were randomized to receive either 15 intramuscular oxygen-ozone (O2O3) injections in the paraspinal lumbar muscles or a control group with simulated treatment.

The researchers found that significantly more patients in the treatment group compared to the control group were pain free six months after the treatment ended (61 versus 33 percent). Patients receiving the O2O3 treatment also had lower pain scores, measured on a visual analog scale, throughout the six-month follow-up. The treated patients had significantly fewer days using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs at 15 and 30 days after treatment started.

"Treatment of acute low back pain with or without radiating pain is a major concern. Although the natural history of acute low back pain is often self-limiting, conservative therapies are not always effective; in such cases, O2O3 intramuscular lumbar paravertebral injections, which are minimally invasive, seem to safely and effectively relieve pain, as well as reduce both disability and the intake of analgesic drugs," the authors conclude.

The study was supported by the Italian Society of Oxygen-Ozone Therapy.

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