Patients aged >65 years with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee experience more relief from pain and stiffness after treatment with physical therapy (PT) plus hot mineral baths (balneotherapy [BT]) than from physical therapy alone.
Why this matters
OA treatment can include medications and nonpharmaceutical and surgical alternatives, but the evidence supporting many treatment alternatives is either insufficient or controversial.
- Elderly patients with knee OA were randomly allocated to receive:
- PT (n=146): local heat pack (45°C) for 20 minutes, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (80 Hz) for 30 minutes, therapeutic continuous ultrasound (1 MHz, intensity: 1.5 W/cm2) for 6 minutes; or
- PT+BT (n=159): mineral water bath for 20 minutes (38-40°C) along with PT.
- Funding: None.
- Significant (P<.0001 interactions between the interventions and time were noted for: style="list-style-type:circle;">
- pain (visual analog scale; VAS),
- Western Ontario and McMaster Universities OA Index (pain, stiffness, physical function and total),
- Euro-Qol (EQ)-5D-3L,
- Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue, and
- Epworth Sleepiness scale.
- Lack of control group.
Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm