Ozone is an allotropic form of oxygen. It is known by its existence in nature where it is located in the stratosphere about 20-30 km. from the earth’s surface, and it is responsible for the ecological balance of the earth preventing the absorption of ultraviolet radiation. It is chemically three molecules of oxygen (0=0-0). It is an unstable, transparent gas, with a sharp odour. It has been used for therapeutic purposes since the beginning of the 20th century, but did not develop significantly until the sixties, when generators became reliable to control its production and destruction. Ozone (O3) is obtained from oxygen when an electrical discharge is produced generating different concentrations depending on the pathology to be treated.
Ozonotherapy consists of administering Ozone in a controlled manner to introduce a therapeutic response. Other fields in which it is used include water treatment, and also veterinary science. Its administration is governed by the Health Act 41/2002. This Act stipulates among other things, that generators must meet a series of conditions to ensure the correct concentration and dosage of the oxygen-ozone compound. It must be administered by medical staff for therapeutic purposes, as its incorrect use is a risk. The ACEOOT has a safety committee of adverse reactions.
Ozone generates biochemical reactions on administration. It is an oxidant and acts as a modulator of different cellular functions. By activating endogenous anti-oxidant mechanisms, a metabolization of free radicals is produced, slowing down the oxidative process responsible for cellular destruction. Oxidative stress is present in various processes, such as: inflammation, degenerative diseases, immune deficits, autoimmune diseases, etc. Its correct use may improve the cellular function increasing its capacity to prevent physiological and pathological processes of cellular destruction. Antioxidant action at intraarticular level reduces inflammation and future degeneration. It inactivates and inhibits the release of proteolytic eczemas. It stimulates the production of chondrocytes and fibroblasts with the possibility of forming new cartilage. It inhibits the release of bradicinine and other inflammation mediators. It releases cytokines with an inflammation inhibiting effect. It releases endorphins. All this decreases the edema, inflammation and pain.
The degradation of proteoglycans is highly beneficial to destroy the herniated disk. The bacterial action of ozone is based on the formation of molecules that are toxic to anaerobic microorganisms such as hydrogen peroxide and free radicals, because they do not have enzymatic systems capable of breaking down these products and eliminating them from the organism. The decrease in the peripheral perfusion in different etiologies (diabetes, arteriosclerosis, thromboarteritis obliterans…) is responsible for tissue ischemia and for cellular necrosis. Improvement in oxygenation of mocrocirculation, the antiaggregant platelet effect, and the increase in 2.3 DPG (diphosphoglycerate) help to release oxygen of the red corpuscles in the tissue. In short, it contributes in tissue oxygenation.
The summary of all these properties of ozone is:
- Analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
- Cellular oxidative stress regulator.
- Metabolism increase of O2. Improved oxygenation.
- Modulation of autoimmune activity.
- High bacterial, antiviral and fungicide power
- Increased circulation
Favism (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency) Hyperthyroidism, Pregnancy, thrombocytopenia, advanced cardiovascular diseases. There are also pharmacological interactions, such as they are inhibitors of angiotensin, which should be borne in mind.