Ozone injection, despite slow onset, may provide longer-lasting outcomes compared with corticosteroid for the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis, according to a study published in Pain Medicine.

The randomized clinical trial comparing the effects of ozone ultrasound-guided injection with corticosteroid injection for the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis in 30 patients with chronic plantar fasciitis who were referred to clinics affiliated with Iran University of Medical Sciences. Study participants were randomly assigned to receive methylprednisolone (n=15) or ozone (n=15) injections. Study participants were assessed with a visual analog scale, an exercise using Foot and Ankle Ability Measure, and ultrasound. 

At 2 weeks post-injection, patients who received corticosteroids showed more improvement compared with participants receiving ozone. However, at the 12-week assessment, participants in the ozone group showed significantly more improvement (P = .017).

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”[O]ur study demonstrated that both ultrasound-guided corticosteroid and ozone injection techniques were effective in reducing pain, improving functional status, and decreasing plantar fascia thickness among patients with plantar fasciitis. However, in a short time, we observed better improvement with corticosteroid injection, and in long term (12 weeks’ follow-up), the improvement was more significant with ozone injection,” concluded the study authors.

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Babaei-Ghazani A, Karimi N, Forogh B, et al. Comparison of ultrasound-guided local ozone (O2-O3) injection vs corticosteroid injection in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis: a randomized clinical trial [published June 1, 2018]. Pain Medicine. doi: 10.1093/pm/pny066