Purpose of this study was to assess the effects of thermal hydrotherapy (balneokinesis) with a sulphurous water on clinical symptoms, quality of life and some functional parameters in patients with varicose veins.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
70 patients with primary or secondary symptomatic varicosis were enrolled and submitted to elastic compression therapy. Patients were then randomized to receive (50 pts, group A) or not receive (20 pts, group B) balneokinetic treatment for 12 days "on top" of elastic compression. Clinical symptoms, quality of life and functional parameters obtained with light reflex plethysmography (PPG) and laser Doppler fluxmetry (LDF) were assessed after 3 and 6 months.
Scores for subjective symptoms as pain, edema, and venous claudication were decreased after 6 months in both groups, but more evidently in group A submitted to balneokinesis. Some parameters related to quality of life evaluation as "bodily pain" and "emotional role" were improved only in patients undergoing balneokinesis. Regarding functional parameters, with PPG venous refilling time after foot exercise moderately increased in both groups. With LDF a significant improvement in the veno-arteriolar reflex was seen in the group treated with balneokinesis.
These results show additional benefits of balneokinetic treatment in patients with symptomatic varices submitted to elastic compression. In fact, clinical and quality of life improvements were observed. The associated amelioration in the veno-arteriolar reflex may support these subjective benefits.