The effects of the calcium-magnesium-bicarbonate content in thermal mineral water on chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled follow-up study
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of balneotherapy on chronic low back pain. This is a minimized, follow-up study evaluated according to the analysis of intention to treat. The subjects included in the study were 105 patients suffering from chronic low back pain. The control group (n = 53) received the traditional musculoskeletal pain killer treatment, while the target group (n = 52) attended thermal mineral water treatment for 3 weeks for 15 occasions on top of the usual musculoskeletal pain killer treatment. The following parameters were measured before, right after, and 9 weeks after the 3-week therapy: the level of low back pain in rest and the level during activity are tested using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS); specific questionnaire on the back pain (Oswestry); and a questionnaire on quality of life (EuroQual-5D). All of the investigated parameters improved significantly (p < 0.001) in the target group by the end of the treatment compared to the base period, and this improvement was persistent during the follow-up period. There were no significant changes in the measured parameters in the control group. Based on our results, balneotherapy might have favorable impact on the clinical parameters and quality of life of patients suffering from chronic low back pain.
KeywordsBalneotherapy Mineral water Chronic low back pain Controlled Randomized trial Thermal water
We would like to thank Mrs. Judit Kleiber (Józsefváros Municipal Health Service, Budapest, Hungary) for her useful assistance.
Tamás Gáti and Ildikó Katalin Tefner have contributed equally to this work.
The study was sponsored by the Budapest Spas cPlc.
Compliance with ethical standards
This study was approved by the Semmelweis University Regional Scientific and Research Ethics Committee (SE TUKEB) (SE TUKEB Number: 164-1/20169). The study was also approved by the Institutional Research Committee of the Health Service of Józsefváros.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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