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Intradiscal Ozone Injections

Hi All, 
I have 2 bulging/herniated discs, one at L5-S1 and another at L1-L2.  These have been bothering me on and off for the past 3 years.  They are not bad enough for surgery.  I have tried the epidural steroid injections, Mackenzie method stretching, chiropractic - multiple methods by multiple doctors, pain meds, physical therapy, rest, massage therapy, etc..  And I haven't felt much relief.  For the past 10 months my pain has been near constant.  It is a real understatement to say what a pain this has been, especially the sciatica down my left leg.  Sitting, especially driving, or riding in the car has been the worst!  I have had to stop exercising, other than McKenzie method stretches and walking, and I used to be a gym rat, and enjoyed road biking, hiking, etc...but this has all but put a stop to all of that!  :( 

Anyway, fast forward to last week, just 7 days ago, I finally decided to try getting an Intradiscal Ozone Injection.  This is an injection directly into the disc that is bulging.  And the injection consists of ozone (which is energized oxygen or O3) and oxygen.  I live in the US, on the western side.  And in the US, Ozone Injections are considered alternative medicine, unfortunately.  So they were not covered by my health insurance.  But I researched the Intradiscal Ozone Injections a lot, and I felt confident based on the risk and my research.  I found about 5 different doctors in the US who do this, most of them are on the East Coast.  I chose a doctor in New Jersey to perform the procedure.  

The procedure went very well. It was done in a surgery center.  I had mild IV sedation.  The doctor used guided X-ray to inject the ozone directly into the disc.  (Doing both discs.). Then he injected a little steroid in the area around the disc, after he injected the ozone in the disc.  Then I had to lay flat on my back for 4 hours after the procedure.  For the first 2 days after the procedure I felt no pain, presumably because of the novacaine  type pain reliever injected at the time of the procedure.  Gradually after the second day, my pain started returning.  But it so far hasn't got as bad as it was before.  Starting yesterday, and including today, my pain has started decreasing.  And so I am cautiously optimistic!!

Has anyone else had an Intradiscal Ozone Injection (not to be confused with prolozone) and was it effective for you?  The doctor told me this typically  takes 2-4 weeks to take effect, though some experience results sooner, and some a bit later.  He said a person typically only needs 1 injection (into each bulging disc) to be effective.  I'm looking for others to share their experiences with Ozone Injections into the disc.  And I will update in the coming weeks on my progress.


  • ssmith73sssmith73 Posts: 3
    edited 07/01/2017 - 9:13 AM

    Hi there, Thanks for posting! I'm 23 and have a herniated L5-S1. I've struggled with back pain for 3 years. I'm considering trying out the ozone injection, as well. At this point my only other option is full artificial disc replacement. Please let me know how your procedure goes and any updates! I hope your back pain starts to improve!

  • Hey just wondering how you are doing after a couple months out. I got pretty much the same situation. One previous surgery, 3 bulging discs L4, L5, S1. The only difference is that I also have foot drop. But I hope the ozone injection will treat everything. I have an appointment set for Aug. 31st. 

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  • I had an intradiscal ozone shot L5S1 just under one year ago after 3+years of PT and other procedures like epidurals with increasing pain due to herniated disc with nerve root pressue and stenosis.  Probably from the same doctor as listed above based on location and procedure details.  I was given versed and a local + antibiotics.  Then the procedure was done under xray after I was properly "not caring" about the details.  It was moderately painful as I am acutely feeling of back injections, but the memory is hazy, so there is that. 

    Initial response is identical to the other experience.  Procedure went fine and 4 hours of torture on my back (laying flat on my back hurts in my case), pain later was gone due to local.   After 2-3 days the pain came back and increased fairly dramatically.   After a month I developed fairly severe coccyx pain, especially when sitting down.  I tried using a coccyx pillow, which helped.  On the other hand the radiating pain was gone.  Sleep was not happening.

    Somewhere around 4 months after the procedure the pain the coccyx pain self resolved and I was doing PT.  Since then the pain is lighter, rarely severe, but not 100% gone.  I'd estimate an 80% reduction and now it feels like I have a small tightness in my upper glute vs the entire glute.  Radiating pain is non-existant most of the time.  I've completed a century since, after 2 years of not being able to bicycle more than 5 miles without excruciating pain. I've even done some light jogging, which I couldn't do at all before.  I can also now lay on my back for 30-45 minutes without any issue, though long stays on my back have to be avoided. 

    Long story short, YES it helped.  Not perfect, but better than sitting and doing nothing like I was. 

  • Hi Smith, sorry to hear about your back pain, look into PRP (platelet rich plasma injection) before going under the knife, it's less invasive than surgery and no chance of rejection. 

  • Norbi93BerNNorbi93Ber Posts: 1
    edited 04/19/2018 - 12:07 PM

    I´ve had 2 shots of ozone (intradiscal) in one week´s time (last week and 2 days ago). The doc said it usually needs 4-6 weeks. I had it done in India, since now I´m living in Melbourne, it´s closer and a lot cheaper (600 AUD per one injection) - [edit]
    If it won´t work as I expect, my next step will be going to Spain to find one of the authors (doctors) of the following research below about ozone, and have myself treated by them exactly how they didin the research.
    Look for the following "Intradiscal Injection of O 2 -O 3 to Treat Lumbar Disc Herniations Results at Five Years" in google scholar(!)
    (Sorry, not allowed to post links -.-)

    If you look at the methodolgy part, they say they used one intradiscal and then 5 consequtive paravertebral injections, too within a few weeks time!
    The main author of the paper seems to be Argentinian, so if you guys live in the US, maybe that´s closer and cheaper. I don´t know though, I´m Hungarian and in Europe all this shit is pretty expensive too. But Spain or Arg. is not that expensive, I am guessing. Nor should be Argentina.
    However I´d go anywhere to get rid of my low back pain (L5-S1 herniated disc, 8mm, central, pain has been ongoing for like 11 months so far, not disabling but VERY annoying and limits me from sports.)

    Before that, though I was wondering I might give a chance to PLDD, when I go back home. ALmost all the people I read reviews from said it was though minimally invasive but they were pretty much in pain after that procedure, but as I found, in Hungary they inject steroids into your disc after the procedure is done, so the post-op pain is not so bad. (PLDD shrinks your disc from inside, too as they punture your disc and vaporize its inner part with laser, making hte bulge go back as the volum decreases from inside) In a private hospital there it costs like 1000 Eur.
    Look for "Comparison of Results of 500 Microdiscectomies  and 500 Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression Procedures for Lumbar Disc Herniation" in google scholar

    So I´m trying not to be impatient, I´ll wait for this intradiscal ozone injection to work first, but I´m flying back to Hungary in July, if no change till then, I´m definitely having a shot of laser into this little creep and then if the bulge is smaller I give another shot to ozone but this time not just intradiscal but also more sessions of paravertebral ones like in the research above.

    If that doesnt resolve my problem either, I´ll go to Greece or Poland where they do "DiscoGel". It´s actually an alcohol based injection that is also supposed to shrink your disc volume from inside and also creates some kind of sponge like thingy in your disc from the water it binds so that your disc doesn´t lose height, as i understood it. But as it´s binding the water in your disc it makes it shrink too. Again, as I understood it. It´s basically a French thing but I assume France would be a lot lot more expensive than Poland or Greece. Here is the info:
    Look for: "A minimally invasive treatment for lumbar disc herniation: DiscoGel® chemonucleolysis in patients unresponsive to chemonucleolysis with oxygen-ozone." in google scholar

    General advice!!
    Use "google scholar" instead of normal google if you look for treatments! Google Scholar lists scientific studies and controlled clinical trials not bulls##t marketing material.
    So if you wanna undergo something first research what studies say and what the outcomes are and don´t just get your info from a doc´s website or from "George, who wrote on the Forum that his sister-in-law had had it and it worked"


    Edited by Liz, Spine-health Moderator Removed name of medical facility

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  • LizLiz Posts: 9,699
    edited 04/19/2018 - 12:09 PM

    This is an old discussion created by a member no longer on the forum so I have to close it.

    It can be reopened if the member who created it comes back and requests it


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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