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Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 2,063
Online ISSN 1973-9095
Kulisch Á. 1, Benkö Á. 1, Bergmann A. 1, Gyarmati N. 1, Horváth 1, Kránicz Á. 1, Mándó Zs. 1, Matán Á. 2, Németh A. 3, Szakál E. 1, Szántó D. 1, Szekeres L. 4, Bender T. 5
1 St. Andrew Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Hévíz, Hungary;
2 Hospital Keszthely, Rheumatology Outpatient care facility, Keszthely, Hungary;
3 NK Medicor Ltd, Keszthely, Hungary;
4 National Institute of Rheumatology and Physiotherapy, Budapest, Hungary;
5 Polyclinic of the Hospitaller Brothers of St John of God, Budapest, Hungary
BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis is the most frequent joint disease and is a leading cause of pain and locomotor disability in elderly people. The treatment of osteoarthritis includes non-pharmacological, pharmacological, and surgical therapies. Silver level evidence has been found concerning balneotherapy in osteoarthritis.
AIM OF THE STUDY: The aim of this study was to evaluate how Lake Hévíz thermal mineral water therapy influences pain, knee function, and quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis, compared to the control group.
STUDY DESIGN: randomized, controlled, single-blind, follow-up study.
SETTING: Spa Hévíz and St. Andrew Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases.
POPULATION: This study included 77 outpatients between 45 and 75 years of age with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee meeting the American College of Rheumatology classification criteria.
METHODS: Patients were randomized into two groups. In group I (n=38), subjects bathed in Lake Hévíz and in group II (N.=39), patients were treated in a pool full of tap water. Water temperature was 34°C for both groups. Participants underwent 30-minute therapy sessions, five times a week for three weeks. Outcome measures were pain visual analogue scale scores, active flexion degree, knee circumference, stair-climb time, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index (WOMAC), and EuroQoL Group 5-Dimension Self-Report Questionnaire score (EQ-5D). Study parameters were recorded at baseline, immediately after treatment, and after 15 weeks.
RESULTS: Comparison of the two groups revealed a statistically significant difference in pain visual analogue scale scores (P<0.01), active flexion degree (P<0.01), physical function components of WOMAC (P<0.05), and EQ-5D scores (P<0.05) even after 15 weeks.
CONCLUSIONS: Balneotherapy improved pain, function as well as the quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Balneotherapy is a potentially useful treatment modality for patients with knee osteoarthritis.