Balneotherapy Reduces Pain in Patients with Fibromyalgia, Trial Shows

Balneotherapy Reduces Pain in Patients with Fibromyalgia, Trial Shows
A type of spa therapy called balneotherapy was found to be safe and effective in reducing pain in patients with primary fibromyalgia, a clinical trial shows. Findings were reported in the study, “Is balneotherapy effective for fibromyalgia? Results from a 6-month double-blind randomized clinical trial,” published in the journal Clinical Rheumatology. Fibromyalgia is associated with chronic widespread pain, fatigue, and tenderness in specific sites of the body called tender points. Management of the disease usually requires a combination of approaches with pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments, such as hot and cold applications, patient education, physical rehabilitation, and balneotherapy. Balneotherapy consists of immersing the patient in mineralized and/or thermal waters from natural springs. Previous clinical trials using balneotherapy to treat physical conditions showed improvements in pain and tender point counts, which lasted from three to six months. Researchers also concluded that balneotherapy is well-tolerated and causes less side effects in patients than pharmacological treatments. However, some aspects of these studies were limited or may have led to bias. Conducted in Italy, this prospective, randomized, double-blind study (NCT02548065) investigated the effectiveness and tolerability of balneotherapy with a highly mineralized sulfate water in primary fibromyalgia patients. The study enrolled 100 patients with fibromyalgia who were randomized to receive 12 app
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