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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2000 November-December;91(11-12):291-8

language: Italian

Assessment of the effectiveness and tolerability of mud-packs therapy with fluorurate radioactivity water on gonarthrosis. A comparative study versus short wave therapy

Fioravanti A., Bisogno S., Nerucci F., Cicero M. R., Locunsolo S., Marcolongo R.


Background. Spa therapy is frequently used in daily rheumatological practice, but its benefit remains to be evaluated. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness and tolerability of mud-packs and mineral baths with fluorurate radioactivity water from the thermal resort of Merano (Bolzano) versus short wave therapy in patients with osteoarthritis of the knees.
Methods. Forty-eight patients were treated for a period of two weeks with mineral water baths and mineral mud-packs and twenty-four patients were treated with short-wave therapy for the same period. Assessment criteria were spontaneous pain ratings on a visual analogue scale (VAS), functional impairment (Lequesne's index), quality of life index (AIMS1), analgesic and/or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs consumption and patient and physician assessment of effectiveness and tolerability of treatments. These criteria were recorded at the beginning and at the end of the treatments and after 3 months. Results. A significant improvement (p<0.0001) in the Lequesne's index, in the VAS and a significant decrease in analgesic consumption was achieved in both groups up to 15 days. The improvement remains to the end of the follow-up period only in the group treated with spa therapy.
Conclusions. This study suggests that spa therapy has a prolonged, beneficial, symptomatic effect in osteoarthritis of the knees.

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