Comparison of education and balneotherapy efficacy in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: A randomized, controlled clinical study
Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by chronic, widespread pain. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment methods are used. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of balneotherapy on treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome, compared with education alone.
A total of 66 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome were randomly separated into balneotherapy and control groups. Patients in both groups were informed about fibromyalgia syndrome. In addition, the balneotherapy group received 21 sessions of spa treatment with 34.8 °C thermomineral water, attending the spa 5 days a week. Patients were evaluated by visual analogue scale, tender point count, fibromyalgia impact questioning, and modified fatigue impact scale at initiation of treatment on the 15th day, 1st month, 3rd month, and 6th month. Evaluations were performed by the same doctor.
Statistically significant improvement was detected in all parameters, compared to starting evaluation, in both groups. Most improved results among all parameters were observed in the balneotherapy group on the first 3-month follow-up. In addition, all parameters beyond tender point count and modified fatigue impact were improved on 6-month follow-up.
It was concluded that addition of balneotherapy to patient education has both short- and long-term beneficial effects on female patients with fibromyalgia.