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