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Oxygen-ozone therapy for the treatment of low back pain: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

PainSci » bibliography » Sconza et al 2021

Two articles on PainSci cite Sconza 2021: 1. Complete Guide to Low Back Pain2. Ozone Therapy for Pain

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to review the available literature on the application of oxygen-ozone therapy (OOT) in the treatment of low back pain (LBP), to understand its therapeutic potential and compare it with other available treatment options.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic review was performed on the PubMed and Scopus databases, with the following inclusion criteria: (1) randomized controlled trials (RCTs), (2) published in the last 20 years, (3) dealing with OOT in patients with LBP and herniated disc, (4) comparing the results of OOT with those of other treatments. The risk of bias was assessed by the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool.

RESULTS: Fifteen studies involving 2597 patients in total were included. Patients in the control groups received different treatments, from oral drugs to other injections, instrumental therapy and even surgery: corticosteroids were used in 5 studies, analgesic therapy in 2 studies; placebo, microdiscectomy, laser-therapy, TENS and postural rehabilitation, percutaneous radiofrequency intradiscal thermocoagulation and psoas compartmental block were tested in the other trials. Looking at the quality of the literature, none of the studies included reached "good quality" standard, 3 were ranked as "fair" and the rest were considered "poor". Comparison of OOT results with other approaches showed that, in the majority of studies, OOT was superior to the control treatment, and also when compared to microdiscectomy, ozone showed non inferiority in terms of clinical outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: The analysis of literature revealed overall poor methodologic quality, with most studies flawed by relevant bias. However, OOT has proven to be a safe treatment with beneficial effects in pain control and functional recovery at short to medium term follow-up.

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