Spa Treatments for Arthritis
Arthritis is a joint disorder featuring inflammation. A joint is an area of the body where two different bones meet. A joint functions to move the body parts connected by its bones. Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more joints.
Complete list of conditions that the
Dead Sea Mud may help:
Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain. There are many forms of arthritis (over 100 and growing). The forms range from those related to wear and tear of cartilage (such as osteoarthritis) to those associated with inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system (such as rheumatoid arthritis). Together, the many forms of arthritis make up the most common chronic illness in the United States.
For thousands of years, people have flocked to the Dead Sea to bathe in its healing waters, which contain 21 minerals, including calcium, potassium, zinc and copper. Countless spas and medical centers have opened in the neighboring area, offering treatments for a range of skin conditions and for arthritis as well. Several Israeli studies (including one at the University of Tel Aviv and two at the Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva) have confirmed that bathing in the Dead Sea reduces joint pain and swelling and increases flexibility in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists at the University of Tel Aviv also found that the addition of a mudpack treatment seems to prolong the beneficial effects of the bath.
Though no research has shown how bathing in this water eases arthritis pain and swollen joints, according to Lee, it's presumed that the minerals, which are necessary for strong, healthy bones, are absorbed by the body through the skin. Mineral deficiencies are common in arthritis sufferers, so helping to alleviate them may cause arthritis symptoms to improve.
Adding mineral-rich mud is believed to work in much the same way. "Dead Sea muds have a lot of sulfur in them, which is another mineral that arthritics tend to lack," explains Lee.
Spa Therapy for Osteoarthritis may include two weeks of balneotherapy and mud-pack applications per year, two years in a row, significantly improved symptoms of osteoarthritis, and reduced the amount of hospital stays, missed workdays and necessary medication associated with this disease, according to recent research.
"Clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness evidence of SPA therapy in osteoarthritis" was conducted by staff at the Institute of Rheumatology at the University of Siena, in Siena, Italy; the Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of L'Aquila, in L'Aquila, Italy; and the Section of Clinical Hydrology at the University of Milan, in Milan, Italy.
The study focused on the role of spa therapy in easing osteoarthritis, as part of the Italian Ministry of Health's Decree of December 1994 to define the role of spa therapy in various sectors of medicine. This particular study was titled the "Naiade Italian Project," named after the goddess of water in classical mythology.
Four assessments were performed by the same physician: one at baseline, before the first spa cycle; one two weeks later, immediately after the first spa cycle; one a year later, before the start of the second cycle; and one immediately after the second cycle.
Outcome variables measured were pain, functional ability, use of symptomatic drugs, number of hospitalizations and missed workdays due to osteoarthritis, and the use of physical or alternative therapy during the one-year period before the second spa cycle.
Results showed significant improvements for all the outcome variables, regardless of what type of water was used. The improvements persisted throughout the two-year study span.
Analysis of the parameters studied showed not only a clear reduction in articular symptoms at the end of the first cycle of spa therapy, but also, above all, a progressive improvement after the second cycle of spa therapy.
You should discuss your health needs with your physicians before considering any spa treatments. Spa Treatments are complimentary treatments to medication, exercise and dietary changes that your physician prescribes.