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Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common degenerative osteoarticular disease, is cause of pain and limitations in physical function with high disability that can conduct to a state of psycological stress, not always considered adequately, with negative impact on the quality of life. The mud and bath therapy can improve this aspect. However, these studies are insufficient. The objective of our research was to evaluate the impact of SPA therapy cycle on safety, efficacy and psychosocial disability in osteoarthritis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The study was carried out on 99 subjects suffering from OA. The patients has treated for 12 days with applications of sulphurous mud-bath therapy from "Terme di Telese" (Benevento, Italy). At the beginning and at the end of the SPA therapy considered has assessed: 1) the adverse reactions; 2) the efficacy on the pain and functional limitations; c) the impact on the psychosocial function using the VAS scale, the SF-36 questionnaire, the WOMAC index and the SDS-Zung test. Statistical analysis of the data was performed by determining the mean ± SD. The results were compared with the Student "t" test or Wilcoxon test. A p value < 0.05 was considered significant.
In comparison to the basal values, this investigation has demonstrated that sulphurous mud and bath therapy has induced a significant (p < 0.01) improvement of overall quality of life with reduction of pain at rest (2.1 ± 1.5 → 1.2 ± 1.3) and during daily activities (2.3 ± 1.3 → 1.4 ± 1.3). This has facilitated the physical function and psychosocial disability as shown by the questionnaires SF-36, WOMAC and SDS Zung.
In conclusion our data suggest that mud-bath therapy with sulphurous mineral water can be considered as an important phase of the therapeutic strategy in OA.