Head to your nearest thermal mineral water spa !
Therapeutic Effect of Balneotherapy and Hydrotherapy in the Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a debilitating condition of almost unknown etiology and pathogenesis that is characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness, as well as secondary symptoms like fatigue, depression, irritable bowel syndrome and sleep disturbances.
A standard therapy regimen is lacking. Patient-tailored approaches are emphasised recommending non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions according to individual symptoms. Self-management strategies involving active patient participation should be an integral component of the therapeutic plan.
Balneotherapy (thermal mineral water spas) and Hydrotherapy are commonly used interventions.
A qualitative systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials showed that:
For Hydrotherapy with exercise, at the end of treatment, there was:
- Moderate-to-strong evidence for a small reduction in pain
- Moderate-to-strong evidence for a small improvement in health related quality of life (HRQOL)
- No effect seen for depressive symptoms and Tender Point Count (TPC).
- Follow-up data provided moderate evidence for maintenance of improvement with regard to pain.
- No group difference was found when comparing water-based exercise to land-based exercise.
For Balneotharapy in mineral / thermal water, at end of treatment, there was:
- Moderate evidence for medium-to-large size reduction in pain and TPC
- Moderate evidence given for a medium improvement of HRQOL
- No significant effect was found for depressive symptoms.
- Moderate evidence for maintenance of improvements was found at follow-up, with smaller effects.
Pain may be relieved by the hydrostatic pressure of the water and the effects of the temperature on the nerve endings, as well as by muscle relaxation. It has been shown that thermal mud baths increase plasma levels of beta-endorphin, which explains their analgesic and anti-spastic effect.
The beneficial effects of water treatments are probably the result of a combination of specific (for example, buoyancy, aquatic resistance, heat) and unspecific effects (for example, change of environment, spa-scenery).
Therapeutic Benefit of Balneotherapy and Hydrotherapy in the Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Johannes Naumann, Catharina Sadaghiani
Arthritis Res Ther. 2014; 16(R141) © 2014 BioMed Central, Ltd. http://medscape.com
Share on Facebook