Background: Mud pack therapy (MPT) influences the serum levels of several cytokines involved in chondrocyte metabolism and in the pathogenesis of osteoarthrosis. In fact, we have observed decreases of IL-1 and TNF-alpha, involved in cartilage inflammation and destruction, and increases of IGF-1 that have a protective influence on the cartilage. It is known that in osteoarthrosis MPT is also able to decrease pain, largely attributable to the inflammatory response.
Methods: We enrolled 31 subjects undergoing MPT and collected blood samples before and after the therapy to assay serum levels of prostaglandin (PGE2) and leukotriene (LTB4) compounds with potent inflammatory and algesic properties.
Results: The study shows a decrease in PGE2 and LTB4 serum levels in all the samples after MPT with no correlation between the PGE2 and LTB4 decreases.
Conclusions: Mud pack therapy exerts a protective effect on the cartilage and is able to induce pain relief by reducing the inflammatory reaction.