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J Prev Med Hyg. 2007 Mar;48(1):1-4.

Evaluation of outcomes in SPA-treated osteoarthrosic patients.

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1
Center of Thermal Studies Pietro d'Abano, Abano Terme.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Osteoarthrosis is the most prevalent joints disorder and it is also the most frequent cause of physical disability in the elderly. When surgery is not indicated, symptomatic drugs are generally used. These treatments are frequently associated to balneotherapy. In fact, balneotherapy or spa therapy has been widely used in classical medicine as a cure for such diseases. The aim and significance of this study is to evaluate the impact of thermalism in subjects suffering from osteoarthrosis.

METHODS:

We randomly selected 220 osteoarthrosic subjects (STs = spa treatment subjects), aged from 40 to 90, that usually undergone mud pack therapy and balneotherapy at least once a year. They were enrolled in thermal establishments in the Euganean Basin. We also recruited, as control group, 172 osteoarthrosic subjects (NCs = normal care subjects) that never underwent any spa therapy. A questionnaire, comprehensive of a disability score, was administered by physicians to each subject.

RESULTS:

STs reported to suffer from osteoarthrosis for more years than NCs. Furthermore STs significantly suffered more than NCs from pain in several joints, and they also showed a more elevated average number of painful joints. In spite of that, STs used less drugs than NCs, and showed a higher degree of disability due to osteoarthrosis (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

The regular use of mudpack and balneotherapy seem to improve the wellness, and the spa treatment seems to help the achievement of this goal. In this regard it might be important to encourage new investigations in order to assess in which measure thermal therapy contribute to the wellness improvement.

PMID:
17506230
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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