London: In a new study, nearly two-thirds of patients who had ozone injected said it relieved their back pain caused by disc problems.
The research, involving 327 volunteers with long-term back problems that had failed to get better with other treatments, is the latest in a long line of studies highlighting the pain-zapping qualities of the gas.
Scientists at Frankfurt University in Germany treated patients with bulging discs who had not got better on other treatments and were heading for major surgery.
After a single injection of the gas, 37 percent reported they were still pain-free six months after the jab, the Daily Mail reported.
Another third reported less frequent episodes of back pain, usually once a day rather than several times a day previously.
Of the remainder, 22 percent reported no improvement and seven per cent said they felt worse.
The gas is first mixed with steroid medicine, which helps to dampen down inflammation, and injected directly into the damaged disc under a local anaesthetic.
Scans showed the discs shrunk by between two per cent and 15 percent afterwards.
Some research suggests ozone helps by reducing levels of prostaglandins - compounds in the body that trigger inflammation and pain. This helps shrink the disc, easing pressure on nerves.
“If you reduce the volume, it won’t be pushing against the nerve and causing pain,” said research leader Dr Thomas Lehnert.
The results were presented at the recent annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.