July 2018 Interview Topic:
Oxygen Ozone Injection Therapy as Part of a Regenerative Medicine Treatment Protocol for Spinal Discs is as Important as Stem Cells.
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!
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 to regenerate. His practice has been producing excellent results by utilizing these alternative methods.
Today, we are focusing on one of these alternative non-surgical treatments, ozone injection therapy, which is as important as stem cells as part of a regenerative medicine treatment protocol for spinal discs.
Hello, Dr. Bleiweiss. How are you today?
Dr. Warren Bleiweiss: I’m very good, thank you.
LH: Well, thank you for joining me. We have discussed oxygen ozone injection therapy in another podcast, but for those listeners that are not familiar with it, could you please start by explaining what oxygen ozone injection therapy is?
Dr. Warren Bleiweiss: Yes, I’d be happy to. Ozone is a supercharged form of oxygen. It is three oxygen molecules together. Medical oxygen ozone injection therapy is the process of injecting a very specific concentration of ozone, you know, 100% pure oxygen into structures, such as joints and spinal discs, or muscles in order to harness the very powerful healing effects of ozone. It has been performed in Europe for over 75 years. There are literally thousands of published research studies that have proven its effectiveness. I just want to highlight the fact that it is a very specific form, I mean concentration, of ozone pure oxygen. We have all heard of the potential negative effects of ozone if it is in the atmosphere, and the ozone levels are high, and for people who, let’s say, have lung problems, it can cause issues. That’s because ozone is in the atmosphere. It is not in 100% oxygen. As we all know, the atmosphere is mostly nitrogen. There are also pollutants in the atmosphere that ozone could combine with. That could form harmful article molecules, whereas medical oxygen ozone therapy is ozone in 100% oxygen. Ozone in 100% oxygen does not react with any other molecules, except oxygen. It does not form harmful molecules, and it’s very, very safe and effective for treating a variety of conditions.
LH: How is oxygen ozone injection therapy essential to stem cell treatments as part of a regenerative medicine treatment protocol?
Dr. Warren Bleiweiss: It is very important to note that stem cells can essentially mature into any type of cell in the body. There are many steps along the way to maturation. For example, a stem cell doesn’t just become a cartilage cell by injecting it into a joint or a disc. The very first step in any type of stem cell treatment or regenerative treatment is that the cells that you’re either injecting, or attracting, or the cells in the structure itself, whether it’s a joint or a disc, you want those cells to have a good environment in which to grow. You want those cells to be able to survive and flourish. Otherwise, the treatment is useless. Ozone is the best treatment that I know of that not only help inject itself to survive and flourish, but it’s also very safe and effective. It nurtures the existing cells that are in the structure, whether it’s a joint or a disc, and helps them increase in number. It’s not only safe, it’s effective and there’s essentially no downside to treatment.
In order to make this point clearer, I’m thinking of an analogy. For example, we could talk about a disc. Let’s say a person has a degenerative disc in their back. That’s a disc that had a destructive process and is not healthy. The analogy I’m thinking of is, let’s say, the lawn in your backyard. Let’s say it’s full of weeds. It’s full of grubs. It has dead spots and you want a new lawn. You’re not going to just go out and throw seeds on the lawn or just put sod down and hope or expect that the lawn is going to grow and look beautiful again. You have to prepare the ground. You have to make sure there’s a water supply. You have to kill all of the insects. I don’t know too much about lawns, but I recall that there are insects called grubs that could destroy the lawn. You have to kill the weeds. You have to make sure the lawn is fertile. All of those things, ozone does to a disc or a joint.
We could make the analogy of watering the lawn. Ozone has been proven to increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to the tissues, which is extremely important for cell growth and cell proliferation. How about the analogy of the insects that destroy the lawn? Ozone is proven to kill pathogens. It kills bacteria. It kills fungi. It kills viruses. It kills spirochetes. It kills parasites. That’s an extremely important part because there are some theories that there are subclinical infections that contribute to certain degenerative processes. It’s not always an issue, but it can be an issue. I mean, a good example of that is Lyme disease. We know that Lyme disease, after the acute phase, can linger and cause problems down the road. Ozone kills Lyme. It kills the pathogens that cause Lyme and it kills other pathogens. These are all very important issues that ozone treats, and it creates an optimal environment for cells to grow and flourish.
LH: How does oxygen ozone injection therapy work to actually heal and regenerate spinal disc health?
Dr. Bleiweiss: Okay. That’s an extremely important point. In my opinion, the most important issue that many physicians overlook is that the reason that the disc degenerated in the first place is still active at the time that a regenerative treatment is initiated. Okay, so you can’t ignore the fact that the disc is not well. It’s not healthy. Whatever process led up to that point, whether it’s that the blood flow to the end plates, which are the areas above and below the disc are disrupted, whether there’s some sort of mechanical disruption because the disc height is affected, those issues are still active. If you want to treat the disc, you have to restore some of the issues that led to the disc problem in the first place. A healthy spinal disc is not a delicate structure. It’s a very strong structure, but it exists in a very delicate environment. Once there’s a downward spiral of degeneration, once that’s started, it’s very difficult to stop it. Therefore, the most important first step in healing is to stop the destructive process and to create a healthy environment for the natural cells of the body in the disc to thrive and increase in number, or to create a healthy environment for any injected cells, such as stem cells, to thrive and increase in number. That’s exactly what ozone does.
I just want to digress for a moment and get back to the fact that the disc is a very strong structure, but it exists in a very delicate environment because that’s a very important point. For example, other parts of our body, other organs, such as the liver, or the kidney, or the skin, has a very good blood flow. If the skin is damaged, for example, if you cut yourself or scrape yourself, it’s going to heal quickly. The risk of infection, if you’re not a diabetic or you’re not exposed to some really nasty pathogen, it’s extremely low. I mean, how many times throughout our lives have we cut ourselves accidentally or scraped our skin, and it heals and we don’t have to rush to the hospital to get antibiotics? That’s because there’s billions of blood vessels in the structures, and blood is flowing and providing oxygen and white blood cells, and all of the things that the cells need to flourish.
The disc is a totally different environment. The disc doesn’t have, for the most part, there’s a little blood flow around the anulus, but it doesn’t have a direct blood supply. There aren’t blood vessels flowing through the spinal disc. The disc gets its blood supply, or not even blood supply, it gets its nutrients from blood vessels that are in the vertebral bodies, which are the bones above and below the disc. Those bones have blood vessels and they loop down, and then there’s an interface, called the end plate, it’s a little oversimplified, but they’re the cartilaginous surfaces that interface between the bones and the disc.
What happens is that the nutrients that the cells in the disc need to live, to survive, such as oxygen, such as glucose, will diffuse through the end plate from these blood vessels into the disc, and then any cell in the body has byproducts of metabolism that are toxic if they accumulate. For example, carbon dioxide, a cell cannot survive for long in a high carbon dioxide environment for various reasons. That has to diffuse out through this same mechanism. If those blood vessels are disrupted, then the cells are not going to survive. The existing cells are not going to survive. The cells are not going to flourish and there’s going to be a problem.
Injected cells, let’s say you’re performing a stem cell treatment, are not going to survive because they’re not getting the nutrients that they need. They’re not getting rid of their waste product, such as carbon dioxide, through this mechanism. Ozone will reverse the pathologic process that led to the disc degeneration in the first place. The ozone has been proven to increase blood flow. It increases oxygen delivery to the tissues. It also decreases inflammation. It’s been shown to increase fibroblast proliferation.
Proliferation basically means that the cells increase in number. This is also an extremely important point because the fibroblasts are a part of what forms the outer layer, the outer protective layer of the disc, which is called the anulus. You can think of the disc as a bicycle tire. I said before that it’s a very strong structure. It’s not a delicate structure when it’s healthy. A bicycle tire is a very strong structure. It supports the weight of the bicycle rider. You could go over bumps. But if the outer structure, the actual rubber is all cracked, it’s not going to hold the air, and same thing with the disc. If the outer anulus is torn or degenerative, it’s not going to hold the fluid in the disc that’s needed to maintain the pressure that is needed for the shock, the absorption, and to maintain the disc height. That’s a very, very important aspect of what ozone does.
I’ve been talking your ear off about this. I don’t want to get into too much detail, but it also increases the ability of cells to cope with oxidative stress, and that’s very important. We also discuss that it kills pathogens. Ozone basically accomplishes all of the things that a spinal disc needs to maintain health.
LH: What can someone new expect during an oxygen ozone injection therapy treatment? And how quickly can someone feel the results?
Dr. Warren Bleiweiss: Let’s focus, since this discussion is about the treatment of disc problems, such as degeneration or herniated discs, so I’m going to focus on the treatment of a disc problem, whether it’s a cervical disc, a cervical is, I’m sure everybody knows, is the neck region or a lumbar disc, which is the low back. It’s an outpatient procedure that’s performed in the surgery center. I perform a full surgical prep and drape to make sure it’s very sterile. I perform it under either direct local or local with sedation, depending on the patient’s preference. It’s not a general anesthetic. When we do sedation, it’s kind of like a Valium compound. It’s called Versed. It relaxes the patient. That depends on patient preference.
There’s no incision. There’s no suturing. There’s no downtime to the procedure the next day. A patient could have the procedure and go to work the next day or go about their activities of daily living. I don’t suggest that the patients jump into exercise the next day, but typically within two weeks, patients are back to their normal exercise routine. There’s a spectrum of how long the injection, the procedure, takes to work. It could be anywhere from two weeks to four weeks, depending on the individual. The length of time that it takes to work doesn’t have any correlation with how well it works. If it works in two weeks or four weeks, the results are the same in the long run.
LH: Well, thank you so much, Dr. Bleiweiss. We know you’re busy, so I just want to thank you for all of your time and 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.
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.