Researchers believe that gas injections into the knee could help you get rid of the pain caused by osteoarthritis. The jab is filled with ozone, which is a form of oxygen gas found in the atmosphere and according to a new research, weekly injections may be able to reduce pain and improve mobility.
It is believed that the treatment can reduce the amount of prostaglandins released. Prostaglandins are chemicals produced due to the inflammation in damaged joints and are responsible for the pain signals sent to the brain.
Prostaglandins are the main target for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac. All of these drugs are normally prescribed for osteoarthritis.
Around 9 million people in Britain suffer from osteoarthritis, a disease that causes damage to the cartilage, which is the soft cushioning tissue found between adjoining bones that helps absorb shock.
When the cartilage breaks down, the bones begin to rub against each other. This friction between the bones causes the joints to swollen and become very painful. The condition can’t be treated with any kind of drugs and NSAIDs are the only treatment to ease the pain that some patients can rely on.
The problem with the normal treatment is that many of the patients need to take the medicine in high doses and for a long period of time. Unfortunately, this prolonged use can cause dangerous side-effects like gastric bleeding or heart attacks.
Another alternative treatment involves steroid injections to reduce the inflammation, but these can be very painful and not all patients can take them.
Although there are various treatments available, around 60000 Britain need a knee replacement every year because their joints get eroded too badly.
Ozone can be naturally found in the Earth’s atmosphere, shielding us from ultraviolet rays. Ozone found at ground level in the air is harmful for the human body, causing symptoms such as chest pain, coughing and throat irritation. It generally forms when the weather is hot and other pollutants start to mix with sunlight.
Recently, ozone has been taken into consideration for uses in medicine. It has already been used in dentistry to stop tooth decay because it destroys harmful bacteria that damage the teeth.
A group of Brazilian scientists have discovered that ozone could help with osteoarthritis. The doctors at the Federal University of Sao Paulo conducted an eight-week trial in which they gave 63 patients ozone injections every week and 35 patients were given placebo injections of air.
The trial showed that the group treated with ozone injections experienced significant improvements in pain relief and mobility. After four months without the treatment the patients symptoms didn’t showed any signs of returning to their original state. The patients didn’t experience any side-effects either.
One of the researchers stated that they believe ozone can help improve the lives of osteoarthritis patients and help them with their daily activities.