Humanitas is also the clinic offering ozone therapy treatment in the field of Orthopedic Rehabilitation. We talk about this topic with Dr. Cristiano Sconza, physiatrist in Humanitas.

Ozone therapy, or more correctly oxygen-ozone therapy, is an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving treatment indicated for patients with lumbar sciatica, low back pain or cervical brachialgia. Most of these forms are due to specific diseases of the spine, such as disc hernia or disc protrusion.

Patients with these forms report back pain that can radiate to the buttocks, thighs and lower limbs, or neck pain with possible irradiation to the arm and in some cases to the fingers of the hand,” explains the specialist.


How does oxygen-ozone therapy work?

“The treatment involves paravertebral intramuscular injections, i.e. in the area of the spine from which the pathological process starts, close to the location of the pain. To find out the exact region, we refer to the images obtained by magnetic resonance imaging (to which the patient was previously subjected), which allow us to identify the position of the hernia or protrusion.

At this point a mixture of oxygen and ozone is injected, dosed by means of special machinery.

The benefits of pain reduction treatment can in most cases be felt after about 15-30 days and the required therapeutic cycle consists of at least ten injections on a one- or two-week basis. The other benefit, in the longer term, can be the reduction of the volume of the disc hernia due to the dehydrating effect of ozone on the intervertebral disc, which has a predominantly aqueous content.

At the end of the therapeutic cycle, as part of a personalized rehabilitation project aimed at the complete rehabilitation of the patient’s problems and prevention of further acute episodes, physiotherapy sessions will be prescribed for postural rehabilitation,” explains Dr. Sconza.


Effective conservative treatment

“Oxygen-ozone therapy is a safe treatment, fast to perform and almost free of side effects. It is therefore suitable for everyone, provided that there is evidence of hernia or disc protrusion and the problem is not of a surgical nature. Oxygen-ozone therapy is a conservative treatment and one of the most effective options available,” says Dr. Sconza.


The session lasts a few minutes

“The injections are made in day surgery and are not painful; the patient will only experience the discomfort of the injection and immediately after a feeling of swelling in the back that lasts for a few minutes.

To help patients get familiar with the treatment and feel safer, I invite them during the first session to relax for about ten minutes after injection, in my presence, so that they can report any feelings or problems.

I would also recommend that someone accompany them for the first time, in case they prefer not to drive because of a slight discomfort in their backs so they can return home comfortably.

One final recommendation: on the evening of treatment, it is good to avoid making efforts or lifting weights,” concludes Dr. Cristiano Sconza.