The efficacy of balneotherapy and mud-pack therapy in patients with knee osteoarthritis

Joint Bone Spine. 2007 Jan;74(1):60-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2006.03.009. Epub 2006 Nov 29.


Objectives: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common chronic degenerative disorder. There are various treatment modalities. This study was planned to investigate the efficacy of balneotherapy, mud-pack therapy in patients with knee OA.

Methods: A total of 80 patients with knee OA were included. Their ages ranged between 39-78. The patients were separated in to three groups. Group I (n=25) received balneotherapy, group II (n=29) received mud-pack therapy and group III (n=26) was hot-pack therapy group. The therapies were applied for 20 min duration, once a day, five times per week and a total of 10 session. Patients were assessed according to pain, functional capacity and quality of life parameters. Pain was assessed by using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Western Ontario McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain scale (0-4 likert scale). Functional capacity was assessed by using WOMAC functional capacity and WOMAC global index. Quality of life was evaluated by Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) self-administered questionnaire. Also physician's global assessment and the maximum distance that patient can walk without pain, were evaluated. The assessment parameters were evaluated before and after three months.

Results: There were statistically significant improvement in VAS and WOMAC pain scores in group I (p<0.001), group II and III (p<0.05). The WOMAC functional and global index also decreased in group I (p<0.05), group II (p<0.001) and hot-pack group (p<0.05). Quality of life results were significantly improved in balneotherapy and mud-pack therapy groups (p<0.05). No difference was observed in hot-pack therapy group (p>0.05). The maximum distance was improved both in group I and II (p<0.05) but not in group III. Also physician's global assessment was found to be improved in all groups (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Balneotherapy and mud-pack therapy were effective in treating patients with knee OA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Balneology / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobility Limitation
  • Mud Therapy / methods*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome