Long-term benefit of radon spa therapy in the rehabilitation of rheumatoid arthritis: a randomised, double-blinded trial

Rheumatol Int. 2007 Jun;27(8):703-13. doi: 10.1007/s00296-006-0293-2. Epub 2007 Jan 4.


This study investigates the effects of radon (plus CO2) baths on RA in contrast to artificial CO2 baths in RA rehabilitation using a double-blinded trial enrolling 134 randomised patients of an in-patient rehabilitative programme (further 73 consecutive non-randomised patients are not reported here). The outcomes were limitations in occupational context/daily living (main outcome), pain, medication and further quantities. These were measured before the start, after the end of treatment and quarterly in the year thereafter. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance (RM-ANCOVA) of the intent-to-treat population was performed with group main effects (GME) and group x course interactions (G x C) reported. Hierarchically ordered hypotheses ensured the adherence of the nominal significance level. The superiority of the radon treatment was found regarding the main outcome (RM-ANCOVA until 12 months: p(GME) = 0.15, p(G x C) = 0.033). Consumption of steroids (p(GME) = 0.064, p(G x C) = 0.025) and NSAIDs (p(GME) = 0.035, p(G x C) = 0.008) were significantly reduced. The results suggest beneficial long-term effects of radon baths as adjunct to a multimodal rehabilitative treatment of RA.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / radiotherapy*
  • Balneology / methods*
  • Carbon Dioxide / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Elements, Radioactive / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mineral Waters / therapeutic use*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Radon / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Elements, Radioactive
  • Mineral Waters
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Radon