An evaluation of the effect of differing lengths of spa therapy upon patients with osteoarthritis (OA)

Vaht, M., Birkenfeldt, R. and Ubner, M. (2007)

Spa therapy is commonly used in Estonia in the management of rheumatic diseases, which usually consists of a course of up to 3-4 weeks in duration.  This study sought to determine whethere there was any difference in the alleviation of symptoms between a 6 day and 23 day course of spa therapy in the management of osteoarthritis (OA).  296 patients participated in the research which included treatments such as mud and paraffin-ozokerite applications, pearl baths, underwater shower-massage, manual massage, and therapeutic exercises in the gym and pool.  The aim was not to consider the effectiveness of a specific therapy but to gain an insight into the length of time required to obtain positive symptom relief.

In both the 6 day and 12 day group, there was a significant decrease in VAS and Lequesne Index scores, and while there were no significant differences found between the groups, this study does suggest that spa therapy has a positive effect by reducing pain and improving clinical status in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.

Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2007) Article in Press Corrected Proof

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