Adapted from the American Academy of Ozonotherapy website (http://www.aaot.us)
Prolozone therapy is a non-surgical reconstructive treatment for ligament and joint damage. Prolozone is a term coined by Dr. Frank Shallenberger. He is considered the father of Ozone treatment in North America. Dr. Frank Shallenberger was trained in Germany in the 1980’s where injection therapies have been successfully used for several decades. Proli is from the latin word “prolix” which means to regenerate and rebuild; therefore, prolozone means to regenerate using ozone. The injection is a cocktail of homeopathics, vitamins, nutrients and most importantly ozone. Prolozone uses a proprietary mixture of ozone (O3) and oxygen (O2) at different strengths to stimulate blood flow to heal damaged areas. This therapy is used to treat neck pain, back pain, arthritic hips and knees, shoulder and elbow pain, degenerated disks, rotator cuff injuries and many more musculoskeletal problems. In fact, according to the official prolozone website, prolozone has a 75% success rate at completely relieving pain!
Prolozone Therapy at Edmonton’s Natural Terrain Naturopathic Clinic
The combination of ozone gas & tissue building blocks is injected into joints & areas of reduced oxygen uptake to stimulate a healing response. This is often utilized in more degenerative tissue injuries, osteo-arthritis and spinal disc problems.
The reason that some injuries heal faster than others is because the injuries that heal the fastest have proper circulation. Therefore, healing factors and nutrients can make it to the site of injury and heal the area. Also, by-products of healing are taken away in the blood stream and do not accumulate. Poor blood circulation leads to decreased oxygen, nutrients and healing factors at the site of injury. This leads to slower healing and a build-up of lactic acid production. Increased lactic acid in the injured tissue leads to pain! When all of these factors are in place, the immune system cannot get to the injured area to do any regeneration or rebuilding.
This process can be reversed permanently through the use of prolozone injection therapy.
Prolozone therapy works through three different mechanisms. The first is that oxygen by itself helps heal tissue. The second is through ozone. Ozone is unstable and it quickly reverts back to oxygen. During the conversion one oxygen molecule is able to oxidize tissues exposed to it. Research shows that oxidants stimulate growth factors. Ozone is a combination of 3 oxygen molecules in a gaseous form. Because of its structure, ozone is an oxidant & immediately improves oxygen uptake in the damaged tissue along with stimulating growth factors for injury rehabilitation and regeneration. Although oxidation has been portrayed by the media as negative, which is why there is a big market around antioxidants, it is actually an essential part of biochemistry. It is the free radicals released from over oxidation that can damage cells and lead to cancer.
The third way that prolozone therapy helps heal the body is that the homeopathic anti-inflammatories, vitamins and minerals that are injected reduce inflammation which increases circulation to the area. This allows nutrient and growth factors to reach the site of injury and regenerate tissue. It usually takes between 3-5 treatments within a six month period to permanently correct the injury although pain relief is typically experienced following the first treatment.
Both during and following prolozone treatment, it is recommended that patients undergo rehabilitative treatments through a qualified chiropractor or physiotherapist to correct weaknesses that may have developed following the chronic injury.
Research supporting the benefits provided by prolozone therapy can be found in the following research articles:
1. Al-Jaziri AA, Mahmoodi SM. 2008. Painkilling Effect of Ozone-Oxygen Injection on Spine and Joint Osteoarthritis. SaudiMedJ. April;29(4):553-7.
2. Bonetti M, Fontana A, Cotticelli B, Volta GD, Guindani M, Leonardi M. 2005. Intraforaminal O(2)-O(3) Versus Periradicular Steroidal Infiltrations in Lower Back Pain: Randomized Controlled Study. Am J Neuroradiol. 26(5):996-1000.
3. Chen K, Thomas SR, Albano A, Murphy MP, Keaney JF Jr. 2004. Mitochondrial function is required for hydrogen peroxide-induced growth factor receptor transactivation and downstream signaling. J. Biol. Chem. 279(33):35079-35086.
4. Ioan Cucoranu, Roza Clempus. 2005. Oxidants Mediate the Effects of Growth Factors. Circulation Research. 97:900-907.
5. Paoloni M, Di Sante L, Cacchio A, Apuzzo D, Marotta S, Razzano M, Franzini M, Santilli V. 2009. Intramuscular oxygen-ozone therapy in the treatment of acute back pain with lumbar disc herniation: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, clinical trial of active and simulated lumbar paravertebral injection. Spine Jun 1;34(13):1337-44.
6. Rao GN. 1996. Hydrogen peroxide induces complex formation of SHC-Grb2-SOS with receptor tyrosine kinase and activates Ras and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases group of mitogen-activated protein kinases. Oncogene. 13(4):713-9.
Adapted from the American Academy of Ozonotherapy website.