Bath Time for Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis?
Bill Schu writing in HCP Live reported that patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) might find balneotherapy (mineral baths) combined with physical therapy may be more effective than physical therapy alone.
A new Turkish study, published in Archives of Rheumato indicates that bathing in thermal and mineral waters can improve the range of joint muscles, relieve muscle spasms, and maintain or improve functional mobility for knee OA patients.
In the study, 46 patients with knee OA were given either physical therapy alone (hot pack, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and ultrasonography for the knee region, 45 minutes per day, five days a week for three weeks), or the same physical therapy protocol combined with daily 20-minute balneotherapy sessions five times per week for three weeks.
In both groups, significant improvements were observed for all of the measured variables. The group receiving the combination therapy had significantly superior improvements in all of the parameters compared to the patients who received physical therapy only. Importantly, socio-economic factors were similar across both groups, and both groups were under similar social and environmental conditions. According to the study authors, the effectiveness of balneotherapy can be explained by the thermal, mechanical, and chemical effects, which increase blood flow and vasodilatation, resulting in fresh blood supply and the removal of nociceptive elements and free oxygen radicals.
“In addition,” the authors noted, “hot bath causes elevation of betaendorphin and stress hormone levels, exerting a direct analgesic effect. Heat induces sedation and muscle relaxation and increases mobility.”
Comment: In Europe, balneotherapy is used a lot. Not so in the U.S.
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In humans and other primates, the knee joins the thigh with the leg and consists of two joints: one between the femur and tibia (tibiofemoral joint), and one between the femur and patella (patellofemoral joint). It is the largest joint in the human body. The knee is a modified hinge joint, which permits flexion and extension as well as slight internal and external rotation. The knee is vulnerable to injury and to the development of osteoarthritis. It is often termed a compound joint having tibio... nathan wei, arthritis, arthritis treatment, balneotherapy knee osteoarthritis, bath time knee osteoarthritis, mineral baths knee osteoarthritis, balneotherapy with physical therapy, bathing thermal mineral waters, improve function mobility OA,