Prolozone: For Resolving Chronic Pain Patterns and Regenerating Damaged Tissues
By Jeff Evilsizor, M.C., PA-C
Editor’s note: To find out more about Prolozone therapy at the Riordan Clinic, please click HERE.
As a physician assistant I encounter many who are experiencing pain. Joints that once functioned silently begin to complain with any movement. Activities that once were of interest now provoke discomfort. Pain disrupts sleep. The unwanted presence becomes a mental and an emotional drain that sets in motion a downward health spiral. Pain is calling attention to something that is out of balance or that is in disrepair.
In the traditional world of medicine, the typical options for pain are pain killers, steroid injections, or surgery. As with most of medicine, I see mixed results. Some individuals have good outcomes with surgery, and some wish they had never undergone surgery. Some get temporary relief from steroid shots and some have joints that are weakened with actual damage from the repeated steroid exposure. Some come to peace with the use of daily pain medication without any noticeable side effects. Through the medication, they experience an adequate level of temporary relief. Still others experience negative side effects from the medication and inadequate relief, and many face uncontrolled pain or increasing pain simultaneously with dependence on increasing doses of pain medication.
Let’s talk about another option called Prolozone.
Prolozone is an alternative medical intervention when there is pain. It is a non-surgical injection based treatment that can resolve chronic pain patterns and can regenerate damaged tissue. Prolozone can alleviate pain through stimulating the body’s own healing processes. Looking at the word itself, prolozone is derived from “proli,” which means to regenerate or rebuild. Think of “prolo” as short for proliferation. “Ozone” in prolozone is a chemical substance composed of oxygen atoms. It is a molecule consisting of 3 atoms of oxygen, whereas the oxygen that we typically breathe has only 2 atoms of oxygen.
Focusing on ozone, you can think of it as a supercharged, highly unstable oxygen compound. Basically, it is a molecule of oxygen with excess energy. Ozone’s unstable nature is what makes it so powerful and stimulating within the body. It is colorless and has a distinct acrid odor. In fact the word ozone itself comes from the Greek ozein (odorant), descriptive of this property. Ozone has a short half-life due to its highly unstable nature. It is a powerful sterilizer, used to destroy bacteria, viruses, and odor. Ozone as a gas is able to diffuse easily, spreading throughout the surrounding tissue.
Prolozone, used in conditions of pain or inflammation, involves injecting a combination of numbing medication, B-vitamins, and ozone into the affected area. It can be injected in a joint space (i.e knee, shoulder, or facet joint) or directly into inflamed tendons or tissue areas. Most are familiar with numbing medication and B-vitamins and how they may be beneficial. What about ozone? How does it work and what does it do to benefit the body?
To give a context for how ozone helps, it is important to understand oxygen utilization and how oxygen is important in the body. Oxygen is needed for the efficient production of energy. Energy is used for healing and tissue regeneration. The importance of oxygen is seen when lungs cannot deliver oxygen to the body and when there is impaired circulation. Oxygen is not getting to those tissue areas. Interestingly enough, ligaments and joints are areas of relative decreased circulation.
A simple way to understand ozone’s benefits is to think of increasing oxygen to an area that needs oxygen. Prolozone improves cellular oxygen utilization through increasing oxygen delivery and reducing oxidative stress. The technical pathway of increasing oxygen to the tissue is through stimulating the biphosoglycerate cycle and shifting oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve to the right. Another way that ozone is beneficial is as a disinfectant. Ozone disinfects through inactivation of bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast, and protozoa. Sometimes infection is the underlying etiology of joint pain and arthritic conditions. Prolozone stimulates tissue regeneration, reduces inflammation, and increases anti-oxidant enzymes. With respect to the regeneration of tissue, it stimulates the production and release of cellular growth factors, such as transforming growth factor beta (TGF-B). The activation of membrane receptors and the increase of cytokines trigger tissue growth. The stimulation and increase of oxygen utilization results in a myriad of effects. These beneficial effects include tissue regeneration, the repair and tightening of lax structures, and the healing of torn connective tissue and ligaments.
Two current leaders in re-popularizing the use of ozone in the United states are Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD, HMD, ABAAM and Dr. Robert Rowen, MD. A publication by Dr. Shallenberger that goes into more extensive description of Prolozone use can be found at http://journalofprolotherapy.com/prolozone-regenerating-joints-and-eliminating-pain/. In the following table he lists conditions that commonly respond to Prolozone injections.
Ozone’s use in medicine in not new. There is a publication entitled “Ozone,” referenced as early as 1855 by the Florida Medical Association authored by Dr. Charles Kenworthy. In 1929, Ozone and Its Therapeutic Action, co-authored by many heads of American hospitals, lists over 100 diseases and their treatment using ozone. Ozone was used routinely in World War One in treating infections of wounded warriors. Currently there are reported to be over 7,000 physicians in Europe delivering ozone therapy safely and effectively.
“From my own experience administering Prolozone injections, and consistently seeing
patient improvement, I am a strong proponent of Prolozone as a support to healing.” Jeff Evilsizor, M.C., PA-C
It is very satisfying to have someone suffering with pain return with improved symptoms or resolution of their pain
issues after a few injections. While convinced of the benefits of ozone, I am also careful to explore whether there are other underlying health issues, not yet identified or not yet addressed. Prolozone should be thought of as an adjunctive therapy supporting the body’s own healing processes. Therefore, everything else that Riordan Clinic promotes as foundational to health (nutrition, gut health, detoxification, hormone balancing, stress management, sleep, relational health etc.), should be considered. The greater the body’s healing capacity, the greater the benefit from Prolozone. Since everyone has some residual capacity to heal, that makes Prolozone a powerful tool for encouraging healing and for the resolution of pain.