The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of thermal therapy, in particular hydromassage therapy with the ''Ca' Rossa'' salsobromoiodic water of the Thermae Oasis (Ferrara, Italy), in patients with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) of the inferior limbs.
Fourty-four patients with primary varices of the legs were enrolled. The anamnestic symptomatologic indicators of disease were: pain, perception of heaviness or paresthesias, nocturnal cramps, ''restless leg'' syndrome, pruritus. The symptoms were evaluated for both intensity and frequency. An additional clinical indicator was the centimetric measurement of the leg diameters at 3 levels: supramalleolar, mid-calf and mid-thigh. The patients were subdivided in two groups: patients submitted to a cycle of hydromassage with salsobromoiodic water and patients treated with compressive elastic stocking (12 mmHg). At the end of the treatment cycle, symptomatologic and clinical data were reassessed, in addition to morphological and velocimetric parameters related to the function of the peripheral vascular system.
The results showed in Group A (thermal water hydromassage) an improved reduction of subjective and objective symptoms as compared to the control Group B, demonstrating a superior efficacy of thermal therapy.
The efficacy of hydromassage therapy is due not only to the favourable action of hydrostatic pressure upon venous flow of the inferior limbs, but also to the peculiar chemical and physical characteristics of the thermal water utilized in this study. The elevated osmotic power of hydromassage is responsible for the significant intrinsic antiedematous properties.