Objective: Spa therapy is commonly used in the treatment of daily chronic diseases practice, but its benefits are still the subjects of discussion. This study investigates possible effects of a combined spa and physical therapy program on pain and hemodynamic responses in various chronic diseases.
Methods: The pain intensity and hemodynamic responses of 472 patients involved in a spa and physical therapy program were studied retrospectively. Assessment criteria were pain [Visual Analog Scale (VAS)] and hemodynamic responses (heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate). Assessments took place before, immediately after treatment, and after completion of the spa program (before discharge).
Results: The patients with ankle arthrosis, fibromyalgia and cervical disc herniation reported the highest VAS score before treatment program (P < 0.05). After the therapy program, VAS scores were seen to decrease compared to before treatment (P < 0.05). The patients with osteoarthritis of the hip (1.3+/-1.2) and soft tissue rheumatism (1.3+/-1.2) had the lowest VAS score before discharge compared to patients with other pathologies (P < 0.05). No statistically significant differences were detected between both sexes in terms of pain improvement (P > 0.05). On discharge, all hemodynamic responses decreased significantly compared to before and immediately after initiation of the therapy program (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: To decrease pain and high blood pressure without hemodynamic risk, a combined of spa and physical therapy program may help to decrease pain and improve hemodynamic response in patients with irreversible pathologies.