From The C.A.M Report
This review of balneotherapy comes from the Alfa Institute of Biomedical Sciences (AIBS), in Athens, Greece.
Balneotherapy (from Latin: balneum, “bath”) is the treatment of disease by bathing. It may involve hot or cold water, massage through moving water, relaxation, or stimulation.
Now, the details.
* 29 studies of 1720 patients were evaluated.
* 22 studies in rheumatological diseases
o 8 osteoarthritis
o 6 fibromyalgia
o 4 ankylosing spondylitis
o 4 rheumatoid arthritis
* 3 studies of chronic low back pain
* 3 studies focused on psoriasis
* 1 study on Parkinson’s disease
And, the results.
* Balneotherapy was associated with significantly greater pain improvement in rheumatological diseases and chronic low back pain vs the control group (17 of 25 studies).
* There was improvement with balneotherapy in the remaining studies, but the response was not significantly better than in the control groups.
* This beneficial effect lasted 10 days to 1 year — most often, 3 months.
The bottom line?
The authors concluded the available studies suggest that balneotherapy is effective treatment for several rheumatological disease. However, “existing research is not sufficiently strong to draw firm conclusions.”
A 2007 Cochrane review of balneotherapy to treat rheumatological diseases reportedâ€¦
* Radon-carbon dioxin baths compared with carbon dioxin baths may not lead to a short-term difference in pain, only possibly at 6 months.
* Tap water baths may not lead to any difference in pain compared to land exercises or relaxation.
* Mineral baths may lead to a significant difference in pain at 8 weeks compared with taking cyclosporine (Sandimmune), but might also lead to side effects.
o Cyclosporine is a potent immunosuppressive agent.
* Sulfur baths or Dead Sea baths may not lead to any overall benefit compared to no treatment.
* Insufficient data support mineral baths vsÂ cyclosporine.
Overall, the Cochrane review concluded there were “not enough data to tell whether physical disability would improve with various forms of balneotherapy.”