Aims: This study is designed to show the efficacy of balneotherapy and balneotherapy (BT) + nonsteroid antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) use in Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients.
Methods: In this prospective study, BT, BT+ NSAID and NSAID therapy in 61 patients with AS were evaluated by ASAS core set. BT group (21 patients) was treated only with BT for 20 min, once a day, 5 days a week, over a period of 3 weeks. BT+NSAID group (20 patients) was treated with 1000 mg naproxen as well as BT. NSAID group (20 patients) was treated with 1000 mg naproxen. All of the participants did respiratory and postural exercises for 20 min a day and for the whole study period. Each patient was evaluated on admission (before treatment), at the end of the therapy and 6 months after the treatment.
Results: At the end of the study, statistically significant improvement was observed in all the clinical parameters of the patients in BT (G1), BT+NSAID (G2) and NSAID (G3) groups. This significant symptomatic and clinical improvement was maintained even 6 months after the treatment. The changes from baseline to follow up were similar in G1 and G2 except duration of morning stiffness (DMS) and chest expansion (CE). Improvements in CE and DMS were better in G1 and G2, respectively. Improvements observed in G1 and G2 were superior to the improvements observed in G3 for the variables of morning pain, nocturnal pain, DMS, global well being of the patient, occiput-wall distance, CE, finger to floor distance and functional index. In Schober test, improvement observed in G1 was statistically superior to G3.
Conclusion: We concluded that BT can be suggested as an effective symptomatic treatment modality in patients with AS. Furthermore, sufficient improvement in clinical parameters can be obtained by BT alone.