The effectiveness of balneotherapy in chronic low back pain

The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of balneotherapy plus physical therapy versus only physical therapy in patients with chronic low back pain. 81 patients with low back pain were followed up in two groups for this trail. Patients in group I (n = 44) were treated only with physical therapy. Patients in group II (n = 37) were treated with balneotherapy as well as the same physical therapy protocol in group I. Patients in both groups were given a home-based standardized exercise program. The following parameters were measured: visual analog scale (0-10 cm), fingertip-to-floor distance (cm), Oswestry Disability Index, and Short Form 36 quality of life scale. First evaluations were done at the time of enrollment, and second evaluations were done following the completion of a 3-week treatment program. There were no significant differences between the two groups for the sociodemographic features. All of the measured parameters improved in both groups. However, improvements in pain, functionality, and quality of life scores were found to be greater in the balneotherapy plus physical therapy group. For the patients with chronic low back pain, balneotherapy coupled physical therapy is more effective than physical therapy alone.