Oxygen Ozone Injection Therapy is a topic that I am very passionate about. Aside from the fact that it is effective, safe, and long-lasting, the main benefit is it doesn’t change the natural anatomy. That is an extremely important point.
The goal for any physician is to get their patient better. They want to help their patient; they want to heal their patient. So, the objective is the same whether you are considering surgery or oxygen ozone injection therapy. It is just that an ozone procedure approaches it from a completely different point of view.
With oxygen ozone injection therapy, you are not changing your anatomy. It is geared towards improving the situation, keeping your normal anatomy, healing what is damaged, and preventing further injury.
Surgery is invasive and all surgeries cause physical trauma and acute inflammation. We can understand a surgery as a deliberate injury. Whether it is sticking a scope in a joint, or cutting the joint open, or replacing it with hardware, any surgery is very invasive, it involves disrupting the anatomy.
Let’s take the example of arthroscopy of the knee as a surgical procedure. Unless it is just a purely diagnostic arthroscopy, there is going to be some degree of disruption of the anatomy. It depends on the condition obviously, but there might be scraping of the bone surface, there might be partial removal of the a torn cartilage (meniscus), there might be suturing of, or replacing a ligament, or suturing a torn cartilage. There is some intervention that changes the anatomy of the joint. That is just the nature of the surgical procedure. That’s the way the surgeon tries to help and heal the patient. But that changes the anatomy of the joint. It’s not just my opinion or my experience, but a review of the medical literature concludes the same that it is better to keep the anatomy that you have, than changing it. Once you change the anatomy, you can’t go back. Ozone injections are different not just that it does not cause physical trauma to your anatomy, the therapy can be repeated without known side effect.
Let’s talk about the knee, after arthroscopy. If you re-injure your knee, or if the invasive procedure only gives you 50%, or 60% improvement, and you want better results, or the procedure doesn’t work at all (no treatment known to man works 100% of the time), then you are stuck with the changed anatomy. And well, what do you do? It is a problem.
With ozone injection therapy, let’s talk about the scenario if it doesn’t work. You’re no better off, or worse off than you were before. Your anatomy has not been changed. If you opt for surgery, you can still have the surgery. In terms of oxygen ozone injection therapy, let’s take this scenario…now the procedure worked 50% and the patient wants to have more improvement, the ozone procedure could be repeated. There is absolutely no downside to repeating the procedure. In fact, the positive effects are cumulative.
In addition, oxygen ozone injection therapy helps prevent further injury. That is a very important point. We already discussed the unique quality of ozone to super-charge or ramp up the body’s ability to cope with oxidative stress, in a previous podcast interview. That is extremely important to understand, because oxidative stress is one of the main stresses that the human body will be exposed to. So by having that super charged ability to cope with the on-going oxidative stress, an ozone injection procedure not only helps the joint heal, but also it helps the joint cope with new trauma. Joints are always subject to trauma. It might be a tiny trauma that is clinically insignificant and has no bearing on your life at the time, but over years those tiny traumas start building up, until you have a real problem. This is true of any joint, not just the knee.
If we use the knee as an example, think about the fact that in your daily existence, except when you are sleeping or sitting, you are using your knees. We have all probably heard of the Fitbit bracelet that people wear which reports how much you walk during the day. With all that walking every single day, you’re putting stress on your knees. Most of the time everything might be fine. Most of the time if there is a tiny little trauma, it heals or heals partially and your activities are not affected. But over 20, 30, 40, 50 years, those traumas start to add up. So, it is great to have a treatment that not only is safe to repeat, but also helps prevent future injuries. In my opinion, ozone injection therapy is the first treatment of choice for joint injury other than fractures or dislocations.
As physicians, we want to help our patients. We want to get our patients better, but the approach to achieving that goal with ozone disc injections vs. spine surgery is totally different. When you have spine surgery, no matter what type of surgery it is, whether it is microscopic, endoscopic, open surgery or laser surgery, you’re disrupting the disc and changing the normal anatomy of your body.
Ozone disc injection therapy is healthy for the disc.
Ozone disc injection therapy does not disrupt the intravetebral (spinal) disc. When I say disc, I mean spinal disc or intravetebral disc. It is actually very healthy for the disc. It does so many positive things for the disc. I want to point out some of the benefits of medical ozone disc injection therapy. A more detailed discussion of these issues can be found in my radio podcast interviews. Ozone disc injections increase blood flow to the vertebral bodies, which are the bones above and below the disc, which is how the disc gets all of its oxygen and nutrients. It decreases inflammation, it helps the fibrous tissue around the disc that holds the disc in place to proliferate, which means increasing the number of cells. And, it helps the disc cope with oxidative stress, which is a very important possible benefit. Oxidative stress is an enormous problem for the body. The human body, the animal kingdom in general, and every organism on the planet earth, has a way of coping with oxidative stress. Without the ability to cope with it, we would cease to exist. The way we cope with it is with enzymes. Enzymes are like factories that can handle millions of reactions a second. When we are confronted with an oxidative stress, for example free radicals, the enzymes can deactivate them very quickly. Ozone is unique when comparing it to all other compounds in the fact that it upgrades the amount of the enzymes that cope with oxidative stress. So, what does this mean to the disc? It means that it is going to be healthier. It means that it is going to be more resilient to further injuries. And that is a huge, huge plus.
Ozone disc injection therapy does not disrupt the disc height.
When disc surgery is performed, in addition to it disrupting the disc, either mechanically or by pulling a piece of the disc out or by vaporizing it with laser energy, a pocket of empty space in the disc is created. The disc height, therefore, will decrease. With ozone injection therapy, the herniated disc portion will shrink a little, just enough to get the pressure off the nerve. But it does not disrupt the disc height. That is one of the big reasons that I find the ozone disc injection treatment to be better than the surgery. The ozone disc injection is actually healthy for the disc.
It is safe, it is effective, it is long-lasting and the biggest thing is, it could be repeated without negative consequences.
Now, this is extremely important issue because, when you disrupt the height of the disc, when you decrease it, since the disc is the front of the spine, the back of the spine will also decrease in height. The back of the spine has a lot of very important structures, two of which are the facet joints and the neuroforamina (which are the tunnels that the nerves go through). When the height of the back of the spine is disrupted, those two structures will have more stress. The facet joints will be more prone to arthritic changes and the neuroforamina will decreased in size. Therefore, the nerve that exits the spine, is more prone to being “pinched” and injured.
Ozone disc injection therapy does not alter the anatomy of the disc.
The other main thing is, it does not alter the anatomy of the disc. That is an extremely important point because we only get one disc at each level. We are born with it and it’s with us for life. I mentioned earlier that the disc gets most of its nutrients from blood vessels above and below it, so it is a pretty fragile environment. It is a great structure, very resilient, but if it gets off-balance, it is very hard for it to get back into balance. For example, the skin has a lot of blood flow. If you cut your skin, if you get a paper cut, it heals quite quickly and it heals well. That is in part because the skin has a great blood supply. Surgery potentially disrupts the blood supply to the structures above and below the disc. Ozone actually enhances the blood supply. This aspect of ozone injection therapy for herniated discs versus surgery for herniated discs is an extremely, extremely important point for the long-term health of the spine.
Ozone disc injection therapy is just as effective as surgery with almost no risk.
(If you are interested in reviewing original research articles regarding this, please see the news article that is entitled “The safety and efficacy of ozone disc injection therapy as a follow-up” Ozone disc injection therapy is just as effective as surgery with almost no risk. That is an extremely, extremely important reason why this treatment is a superior to surgery. Sometimes surgery is necessary. For example, if a disc or a spine condition is compressing the spinal cord and a patient has loss of bowel or bladder function, the patient needs surgery. But for the vast majority of patients, particularly patients with pain of the back, of the leg, even numbness or weakness if the weakness is not extremely profound, the ozone disc injection therapy is a much better treatment for the reason that I mentioned above. It is important to stress that medical ozone disc injection therapy is just as effective as surgery, without the related risks that go along with the surgery. We see patients recover or improve on a routine basis with this minimally invasive disc injection therapy. Most patients experience a lot of improvement from just one ozone disc injection procedure. When they do very well, they do well for a long time so the good result is sustained, not short lived.
If necessary, ozone disc injection therapy can be repeated with no risk or adverse effects.
Let’s take a scenario which involves 2 theoretical patients: patient 1 has back surgery, patient 2 wants to avoid surgery and received oxygen ozone disc injections, and they both have the same result. Let’s say they both get 50% better. They are happy, but they want more relief. They have less pain, they are functioning better, but they want greater relief of the pain and they want to do more.
If necessary, ozone disc injection therapy can be repeated, with surgery, it is usually not repeated. Surgery is almost never repeated in this scenario, because of you look at the studies, the statistics are very poor for someone improving with a second back surgery. Every time you do a surgical procedure on the spine, there is the same level of risks. There are the same surgical risks and there is also the risk of internal scarring. With ozone disc injection therapy, it could be repeated and the good effect is cumulative. This is an important distinction and important for a patient to be aware of. Not only is there no downside or increased risks to repeating ozone disc treatment, there is actually a cumulatively positive effect from repeating it, due to reasons that I discussed above. As I stated above, a medical ozone disc procedure increases blood flow, it increases the body’s ability to cope with oxidative stress, in addition to the other benefits that I mentioned above. It is, therefore, very beneficial to the health of the disc and it helps prevent future injuries. In my mind as a medical doctor specializing in treating patients with advanced but safe and effective alternative treatment protocols, it is the best option for treating discs that are causing pain and dysfunction. A lot of my patients have the desire to avoid surgery; they were searching for viable alternatives. Once the distinctions between a medical ozone disc therapy vs. a back surgery are understood, patients choose ozone disc injections. We have patients coming from all over North America and sometimes from other parts of the world. It has been a very rewarding experience for me and for my patients to see such positive results.
Topic: Oxygen Ozone Injection Therapy: A Safe Alternative to Surgery for Joint Injuries
Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Warren Bleiweiss’ podcast interview. You can listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below. Enjoy!
RC: Hello, everyone. This is Liz Harvey, coming to you from our studios in New York City, where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the U.S.
In today’s episode, we are speaking with Dr. Warren J. Bleiweiss, a leader in the United States in the emerging medical field of oxygen ozone injection therapy, for the treatment of herniated discs, joint and muscle pain, and injuries. Dr. Bleiweiss pioneered oxygen ozone disc injection therapy in the U.S. He is a graduate of New York University, School of Medicine and is board certified in both Anesthesiology and Pain Management. His long list of accomplishments includes leadership experience as a hospital anesthesiology department director, the inventor of a patented medical device, and the founder of one of the first multi-disciplinary pain management centers in New Jersey. He has been successfully treating patients for over 30 years.
Dr. Bleiweiss specializes in minimally invasive alternative treatments that heal patients without surgery or potentially harmful medications. His treatment protocols are specifically designed to activate the body’s innate ability to recover and regenerate. His practice has been producing excellent results by utilizing these alternative methods.
Today we’re focusing on one of these alternative, non-surgical treatments. Oxygen ozone injection therapy, a safe and effective alternative to surgery for joint injuries.
Hello, Dr. Bleiweiss, how are you today?
Dr. Warren Bleiweiss: I’m doing great, thank you. How are you?
RC: I’m doing great. Thanks so much for joining me.
Can you first explain what oxygen ozone injection therapy is?
Dr. Warren Bleiweiss: Yes, I’d love to. It is a great medical treatment that harnesses the power of a super-charged form of oxygen, which is ozone. Which are three oxygen molecules that are joined together. And that ozone is injected or applied to various structures of the body. And it has very, very powerful healing effects. It’s been used in Europe for over 75 years, with excellent results. There are multiple studies, thousands of studies, in peer-reviewed medical journals, that demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of the procedure. And when it is used medically, it is a very specific concentration of ozone that we generate in a pure oxygen environment. And the specifics and the concentration are key to the treatment. Because each treatment, and each structure, requires a different amount of ozone, and a different amount of oxygen.
And that has to be determined before, and it has to be generated in a very precise way. So that’s exactly what we do, we generate a very specific concentration of ozone in a pure oxygen environment and inject it into the affected area of the body.
How does oxygen ozone injection therapy safely treat acute and chronic joint pain, and joint injuries?
Dr. Warren Bleiweiss: First I’d like to point out that there are a large variety of painful acute and chronic joint conditions. For example, we’ll just name a few: arthritis, sports injuries, sprains and strains, torn cartilages, torn ligaments, wear and tear from athletic injuries, and repetitive injuries. The great thing about ozone injection therapy is that ozone treatment is effective for all of these conditions, and more. Some of the many beneficial healing effects of ozone are that it is a powerful anti-inflammatory, it stimulates the production of additional fibroblast cells, which are the cells that are responsible for the connective tissue integrity in our body. And it stimulates the production in a way where more cells are created. So that’s a very, very powerful healing effect.
It also increases blood flow and lymphatic drainage to the joint. This is another extremely important point. It also super-charges the body’s ability to cope with oxidative stress, which is one of the main stresses that the human body, or any organism, is under. And ozone has this very unique quality of increasing the activity and the amount of the enzymes that cope with oxidative stress. And that not only has a healing effect, but it has an effect of preventing further injury and allowing the joint to heal more quickly if there is an injury. The effect is long-lasting, but not so much that the ozone stays around, but the ozone is immediately converted to secondary messenger molecules, and those secondary messenger molecules have long-lasting effects.
There are a lot of other beneficial effects, I’ll just name two of them. It also stimulates the immune system, and it also kills almost every species of bacteria, virus, spirochete. Now, you might think, “Well, why is that important for joints?” And most of the time it’s not important, but sometimes there are conditions of the joint that they’re a series that might be potentiated by infections. Well, one important example is Lyme Disease. But there are other conditions. So it is another beneficial effect that’s great.
What are some examples of joint pain, or some joint injuries that you have successfully treated with oxygen ozone injection therapy?
Dr. Warren Bleiweiss: As I mentioned a few minutes ago, it is successful for a wide variety of conditions, and I’ve had a lot of successes over the years. Some of my patients are very happy to tell their stories and were nice enough of to put them on our website. So, I’m just going to talk about two in particular. So, there’s a story on our website from a patient named Mike. He is actually a medical professional, and a colleague of mine. And he is a very active fellow, and he travels a lot, and does a lot of medical care in other countries, very active. And he was facing two total knee replacements. He had really, really bad arthritis of both knees. And he came to me one day, and said, “I was told I have bone on bone in both knees, and I don’t want surgery, I don’t want the downtime, I don’t want the risk. Could you please inject ozone?” So, I injected both of his knees, and he did amazing. That was at least five years ago, and he’s still great. I mean, after the treatment, he came back for his follow-up visit, and he was able to do squats in my office, which I couldn’t believe. So that was a really great success.
There’s also a nurse that I work with, and she works at our surgery center, and has witnessed patients who have done extremely well with ozone disc injection therapy, which is a procedure that is great for herniated discs, and I do at the surgery center. And she told me one day that she has this chronic shoulder condition from an injury, and it really plagues her. She can’t do so many things, she can’t even lift her child with her arm on that side. And she asked if I could inject her with ozone, and I did. And she had amazing results. She had a more complicated injury. It wasn’t just the joint, it was the joint, a nerve and muscles. And she did great. She required, I believe, three treatments total. But she’s very, very happy, and the treatment lasted. And she doesn’t need any additional treatments.
And I also have my own experience. I love to ski, that’s my favorite sport. And about five or six years ago, I tore a meniscus in my knee, and it was so uncomfortable, I even had trouble walking up and down stairs. And I really didn’t want to undergo arthroscopic surgery. And since I was doing the ozone treatments, I decided just to treat it myself with ozone, and I haven’t done another MRI because my knee is great now. I don’t even need to do another MRI. But I have no pain, I’m able to ski.
And the other great thing about the treatment is that it could be repeated with no downside. This isn’t like a steroid for example, where you don’t want to put too much in. The beneficial effects that are achieved from the ozone injection are additive. There are positive effects from repeating it. So, for example, for me, anytime I go skiing, if I tweak my knee and I feel some discomfort, I’ll just inject it with ozone, and then I do well.
What can someone new expect during an oxygen ozone injection therapy session? And how quickly can someone feel the results?
Dr. Warren Bleiweiss: These treatments are office procedures. It is done in the office, it is a very safe and clean environment. I use multiple safety procedures that I developed. And I essentially do a sterile prep of the joint, whether it’s the shoulder, the knee, the elbow, the wrist, the ankle, whatever joint it is. And I generate an exact concentration and amount of ozone in pure oxygen. I believe we discussed this earlier, the concentration is extremely important, and the amount is extremely important. So that is something I determine based on the patient and the size of the joint, and the joint that is involved. So that is generated.
And the other thing is the fact that it is in a pure oxygen environment, it is also extremely important that that’s what separates medical ozone from ozone in the atmosphere. Ozone in the atmosphere exists in a nitrogen and oxygen environment, mostly nitrogen. But there are also other pollutants, and that’s why it’s not good for you to breathe in, because you might hear, for example, that the ozone level is high, and if you have asthma, it’s dangerous. That’s because that ozone exists in an air environment, which is nitrogen and oxygen, and there are also pollutants in the air. The medical ozone is extremely safe because it exists in 100% pure oxygen environment.
So, once I generate the ozone in the proper concentration and amount, I place a very small needle in the joint, and I inject the ozone and oxygen. Needle is removed, and the patient has a very short recovery time. And then they could go back home, or to work, or whatever they want to do. They can drive after the procedure. It is a very safe procedure. And the great thing, is that it’s has long-lasting results.
Now, you asked me how quickly someone can feel the results. Usually it takes about two days with a joint injection. I’ve had patients who had immediate results, and I’ve had patients where it takes more than a week to get better. The interesting thing is that the quality of improvement has no correlation with how long it takes for the patient to get better. So, a patient that takes a week to get better, and they get improvement, versus a patient who takes a day to get better, or no time at all to get better, and has improvement, the quality of improvement is equivalent, which is a great thing.
What are the main reasons people should try oxygen ozone injection therapy, instead of opting for surgery?
Dr. Warren Bleiweiss: I’m glad that you asked that question, because it’s a topic that I’m very passionate about. Aside from the fact that it works, and it’s effective, and it’s safe, and it’s long-lasting, the main thing is it doesn’t change the anatomy. That’s an extremely, extremely important point. So the approach to treating a patient between surgery and oxygen ozone injection therapy, it is the same. Any physician wants to get their patient better, they want to help their patient, they want to heal their patient. So, the approach is the same, it’s just that the procedure approaches it from a completely different point of view. So, oxygen ozone injection therapy, you’re not changing your anatomy. It’s geared towards improving the situation, keeping the normal anatomy, healing what’s damaged, and preventing further injury.
With surgery, it is more invasive. Whether it’s sticking the scope in, or cutting the joint open, or replacing it with hardware, which is very invasive, it involves disrupting the anatomy. So, let’s talk about arthroscopy of the knee. Unless it’s just a purely diagnostic arthroscopy, there’s going to be some degree of scraping, possibly. It depends on the condition obviously, but there might be scraping of the bone surface, there might be partial removal of the torn cartilage, there might be suturing of, or replacing a ligament, or suturing a torn cartilage. There’s some intervention that changes the anatomy of the joint.
And that’s just the nature of the procedure. That’s the way the surgeon tries to help and heal the patient. But that changes the anatomy of the joint. And in my opinion, and not only just from my experience, but the medical literature that I read and always review, it is better to keep the anatomy that you have, than to change the anatomy. Once you change the anatomy, you can’t go back. So, if you re-injure, let’s say, let’s talk about the knee. If you re-injure your knee, or if the procedure only gives you 50%, or 60% improvement, and you want more, or the procedure doesn’t work, no treatment known to man works 100% of the time, then you’re stuck with the changed anatomy. And well, what do you do? It is a problem.
With ozone injection therapy, let’s talk about the scenario if it doesn’t work. You’re no better off, or worse off than you were before. Your anatomy hasn’t been changed. If you opt for surgery, you can still have the surgery. Let’s take this, now the procedure almost a lot of times works, but let’s say it worked 50%. And the patient wants to have more treatment. You could repeat it. There’s absolutely no downside to repeating the procedure.
So, in addition to that, it also helps prevent further injury, that is a very important point. I believe we already discussed the unique quality of ozone to super-charge, or ramp up, the body’s ability to cope with oxidative stress. And that’s an extremely, extremely important point, because oxidative stress is one of the main stresses that the human body will be exposed to. So, by having that ability, the long-lasting ability to cope with future oxidative stress. Or I should say on-going oxidative stress, because it is on-going, we’re always exposed to it. It not only helps the joint heal, but it helps it cope with trauma. And the other thing about joints, is joints are always subject to trauma. It might be a tiny, tiny, tiny trauma, that is clinically insignificant, has no bearing on your life. But over years, and years, and years, those tiny, tiny traumas start building up, until you have a real problem. So, like we’ve been talking about the knee a lot, but this could be any type of joint.
But if you think about it, when you, in your daily existence, except when you’re sleeping or sitting, you’re using your knees a lot. Even when you’re standing, when you’re walking upstairs, and when you’re walking. We’ve all probably heard of this Fitbit bracelet that people wear and tells you how much you walk during the day. All that walking, those miles of walking every single day, you’re putting stress on your knees. Now most of the time everything is fine. Most of the time if there’s a tiny little trauma, it heals. But over 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years, it starts to build up. So, it is great to have a treatment that not only is safe to repeat, but it also helps prevent future injuries.
RC: Well, thank you so much, Dr. Bleiweiss. We know you’re very busy, so I just want to thank you for your time, and all your help today.
Dr. Warren Bleiweiss: You’re welcome.
RC: And for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with the doctor, please visit www.alternativedisctherapy.com, or call (973) 403-3334 to schedule an appointment.
And on behalf of our team, we want to thank you for listening. And we look forward to bringing you more top-quality content from our country’s leading experts.