Rheumatology International

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 523–529

Therapeutic effect of spa therapy and short wave therapy in knee osteoarthritis: a randomized, single blind, controlled trial

Authors

  • Luca Cantarini
    • Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine and Immunological SciencesUniversity of Siena
  • Graziana Leo
    • Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine and Immunological SciencesUniversity of Siena
  • Chiara Giannitti
    • Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine and Immunological SciencesUniversity of Siena
  • Gabriele Cevenini
    • Department of Surgery and BioengineeringUniversity of Siena
  • Pietro Barberini
    • Clinical BioengineeringAzienda Ospedaliera Senese
    • Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine and Immunological SciencesUniversity of Siena
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00296-006-0266-5

Cite this article as:
Cantarini, L., Leo, G., Giannitti, C. et al. Rheumatol Int (2007) 27: 523. doi:10.1007/s00296-006-0266-5

Abstract

Spa therapy and short wave therapy are two of the most commonly used non-pharmacological approaches for osteoarthritis. The aim of this study was to assess their efficacy in comparison to conventional therapy in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee in a single blind, randomized, controlled trial. Seventy-four outpatients were enrolled; 30 patients were treated with a combination of daily local mud packs and arsenical ferruginous mineral bath water from the thermal resort of Levico Terme (Trento, Italy) for 3 weeks; 24 patients were treated with short wave therapy for the same period and 20 patients continued regular, routine ambulatory care. Patients were assessed at baseline, upon completion of the 3-week treatment period, and 12 weeks later. Spa therapy and short wave therapy both demonstrated effective symptomatic treatment in osteoarthritis of the knee at the end of the treatment, but only the spa therapy was shown to have efficacy persistent over time. Our study demonstrated the superiority of arsenical ferruginous spa therapy compared to short wave therapy in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee, probably in relationship to the specific effects of the minerals in this water.

Keywords

Knee osteoarthritisRandomized clinical trialArsenical ferruginous watersSpa therapyShort wave therapy

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006