The effectiveness of balneotherapy in chronic neck pain.

The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of balneotherapy (BT), which is applied in addition to physical therapy (PT), in the treatment of chronic neck pain. Sixty patients with chronic neck pain were divided into study (n = 30) and control (n = 30) groups. All of the patients in both groups were treated with a 15-session standard PT program consisting of hot pack, ultrasound, and transcutaneous electrical stimulation. Patients in the study group were also treated with a 15-session BT program lasting 20 min/day in addition to the standard PT program. Visual analogue scale (VAS), modified neck disability index (mNDI), and Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) scores of all patients were evaluated at three different times as pretreatment, posttreatment, and posttreatment third week. There was no statistically significant difference between the clinical and demographic characteristics of the patients in different groups before treatment. Intragroup analysis revealed significant improvement in all parameters for both of the groups at all time intervals. Intergroup analysis uncovered the superiority of the study group.

According to the results of this study, BT in combination with PT is superior to PT alone in reducing pain and disability and improving quality of life in patients with chronic neck pain.