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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2008 Feb;14(1):60-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2007.09.005. Epub 2007 Nov 13.

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

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Health Resort Laboratory, Pärnu College, University of Tartu, Ringi 35, Pärnu 80010, Estonia.


The use of spa therapy in Estonia commonly consists of courses up to 3-4 weeks in duration for the management of rheumatic diseases. This study sought to evaluate whether there was any difference in the alleviation of patients symptoms between 6 and 12 day courses of spa therapy in the management of osteoarthritis (OA). A total of 296 patients participated in the research. Spa therapies consist of a range of therapies including mud and paraffin-ozokerite applications; pearl baths; underwater shower-massage; manual massage; therapeutic exercises in the gym and in the swimming pool. The aim of this study was not to evaluate the effectiveness of specific therapies but to gain an insight into the length of time required to effect positive symptom relief through the use of a composite spa approach for patients with OA. At the beginning and end of spa treatment, a visual analogue scale (VAS) was determined in all patients and Lequesne Index used for patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis. In both 6 day (group 1) and 12 day (group 2) groups VAS and Lequesne Index decreased significantly. Whilst no significant differences were found when comparing the results of daily spa therapy in both groups 1 and 2, this study suggests that spa therapy has a positive effect by reducing pain and improving clinical status in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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