Exercise in 94 degrees F water for a patient with multiple sclerosis. (1/51)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this case report is to describe the examination, intervention, and outcome of a patient with multiple sclerosis (MS) who participated in a comprehensive rehabilitation program that included aquatic therapy with a pool temperature of 94 degrees F. There are few descriptions of aquatic exercise programs on muscle force, exercise tolerance, and functional outcomes in individuals with MS, and most authors recommend a water temperature of less than 85 degrees F to prevent an exacerbation of symptoms. DESCRIPTION: The patient was a 33-year-old woman. Before, during, and after the aquatic program, she was monitored for body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and perceived exertion. She was also assessed for muscle force and functional abilities. OUTCOMES: The patient did not experience heat sensitivity or fatigue throughout the program, and her manual muscle test grades and mobility improved. DISCUSSION: This patient's participation in aquatic therapy, in conjunction with land-based interventions, may have been associated with the improvement in functional abilities.  (+info)

Balneotherapy at the Dead Sea area for patients with psoriatic arthritis and concomitant fibromyalgia. (2/51)

BACKGROUND: Balneotherapy has been successfully used to treat various rheumatic diseases, but has only recently been evaluated for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Since no effective treatment exists for this common rheumatic disease, complementary methods of treatment have been attempted. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of balneotherapy at the Dead Sea area in the treatment of patients suffering from both fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. METHODS: Twenty-eight patients with psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia were treated with various modalities of balneotherapy at the Dead Sea area. Clinical indices assessed were duration of morning stiffness, number of active joints, a point count of 18 fibrositic tender points, and determination of the threshold of tenderness in nine fibrositic and in four control points using a dolorimeter. RESULTS: The number of active joints was reduced from 18.4 +/- 10.9 to 9 +/- 8.2 (P < 0.001). The number of tender points was reduced from 12.6 +/- 2 to 7.1 +/- 5 in men (P < 0.003) and from 13.1 +/- 2 to 7.5 +/- 3.7 in women (P < 0.001). A significant improvement was found in dolorimetric threshold readings after the treatment period in women (P < 0.001). No correlation was observed between the reduction in the number of active joints and the reduction in the number of tender points in the same patients (r = 0.2). CONCLUSIONS: Balneotherapy at the Dead Sea area appears to produce a statistically significant substantial improvement in the number of active joints and tender points in both male and female patients with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. Further research is needed to elucidate the distinction between the benefits of staying at the Dead Sea area without balneotherapy and the effects of balneotherapy in the study population.  (+info)

The role of trace elements in psoriatic patients undergoing balneotherapy with Dead Sea bath salt. (3/51)

BACKGROUND: A beneficial effect was observed in patients with psoriasis vulgaris following balneotherapy with Dead Sea bath salt. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the possible role of trace elements in the effectiveness of balneotherapy. METHODS: Serum levels of 11 trace elements were analyzed in 23 patients with psoriasis vulgaris who participated in a double-blind controlled study of balneotherapy with either Dead Sea bath salt (12 patients) or common salt (11 patients). Thirteen healthy volunteers served as controls. RESULTS: The mean pre-treatment serum levels of boron, cadmium, lithium and rubidium were significantly lower in patients compared to controls, whereas the mean pre-treatment serum level of manganese was significantly higher in patients compared to controls. Balneotherapy with Dead Sea bath salt resulted in a significant decrease (P = 0.0051) in the mean serum level of manganese from 0.10 +/- 0.05 mol/L to 0.05 +/- 0.02 mumol/L. The mean reduction in the serum level of manganese differed significantly (P = 0.002) between responders (% Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score reduction > or = 25) and non-responders (% PASI score reduction < 25). Following balneotherapy with Dead Sea bath salt the mean serum level of lithium decreased in responders by 0.01 +/- 0.02 mumol/L, whereas its level in non-responders increased by 0.03 +/- 0.03 mumol/L. (P = 0.015). CONCLUSIONS: Manganese and lithium may play a role in the effectiveness of balneotherapy with Dead Sea bath salt for psoriasis.  (+info)

A brief history of spa therapy. (4/51)

Bathing in thermal water has an impressive history and continuing popularity. In this paper a brief overview of the use of water in medicine over the centuries is given.  (+info)

Cost effectiveness of combined spa-exercise therapy in ankylosing spondylitis: a randomized controlled trial. (5/51)

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost effectiveness and cost utility of a 3-week course of combined spa therapy and exercise therapy in addition to standard treatment consisting of antiinflammatory drugs and weekly group physical therapy in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients. METHODS: A total of 120 Dutch outpatients with AS were randomly allocated into 3 groups of 40 patients each. Group 1 was treated in a spa resort in Bad Hofgastein, Austria; group 2 in a spa resort in Arcen, The Netherlands. The control group stayed at home and continued their usual activities and standard treatment during the intervention weeks. After the intervention, all patients followed weekly group physical therapy. The total study period was 40 weeks. Effectiveness of the intervention was assessed by functional ability using the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Function Index (BASFI). Utilities were measured with the EuroQoL (EQ-5D(utility)). A time-integrated summary score defined the clinical effects (BASFI-area under the curve [AUC]) and utilities (EQ-5D(utility)-AUC) over time. Both direct (health care and non-health care) and indirect costs were included. Resource utilization and absence from work were registered weekly by the patients in a diary. All costs were calculated from a societal perspective. RESULTS: A total of 111 patients completed the diary. The between-group difference for the BASFI-AUC was 1.0 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.4-1.6; P = 0.001) for group 1 versus controls, and 0.6 (95% CI 0.1-1.1; P = 0.020) for group 2 versus controls. The between-group difference for EQ-5D(utility)-AUC was 0.17 (95% CI 0.09-0.25; P < 0.001) for group 1 versus controls, and 0.08 (95% CI 0.00-0.15; P = 0.04) for group 2 versus controls. The mean total costs per patient (including costs for spa therapy) in Euros (euro;) during the study period were euro;3,023 for group 1, euro;3,240 for group 2, and euro;1,754 for the control group. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio per unit effect gained in functional ability (0-10 scale) was euro;1,269 (95% CI 497-3,316) for group 1, and euro;2,477 (95% CI 601-12,098) for group 2. The costs per quality-adjusted life year gained were euro;7,465 (95% CI 3,294-14,686) for group 1, and euro;18,575 (95% CI 3,678-114,257) for group 2. CONCLUSION: Combined spa-exercise therapy besides standard treatment with drugs and weekly group physical therapy is more effective and shows favorable cost-effectiveness and cost-utility ratios compared with standard treatment alone in patients with AS.  (+info)

Assessment of disability with the World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule II in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. (6/51)

OBJECTIVE: To investigate in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) whether the newly developed World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule II (WHODAS II) is a useful instrument for measuring disability, to assess its responsiveness in relation to other traditional disease specific instruments, and to identify factors that are associated with both short term and long term scores on the WHODAS II. METHODS: Patients with AS from a randomised controlled trial assessing the efficacy of spa treatment (n=117) and from a five year longitudinal observational study (n=97) participated. The patients completed several questionnaires, including the WHODAS II. After a three week course of spa treatment, 31 patients again completed all questionnaires to assess responsiveness. To determine to what degree the WHODAS II reflects some AS oriented measures on disease activity, functioning, and quality of life, correlation coefficients between the WHODAS II and these other questionnaires were calculated. Responsiveness was calculated by the effect size (ES) and standardised response mean (SRM). Linear regression analysis was performed to explore which factors might be associated with short term changes on the WHODAS II and to investigate (in the observational study) which factors of WHODAS II might predict disability five years later. RESULTS: Mean score on the WHODAS II was 23.9 (SD 15.5 (range 0.0-76.1)). Scores on the WHODAS II were significantly correlated with all disease specific questionnaires measured (all p<0.001). The WHODAS II showed a comparable short term responsiveness score (SRM 0.41; ES 0.39). In regression analysis these short term changes on the WHODAS II were significantly associated with changes in functioning (beta coefficient 4.25, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.24 to 7.26, p=0.007). In the observational study, disease activity (beta coefficient 0.35, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.53, p<0.000) as well as functioning (beta coefficient 0.23, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.38, p=0.002) seemed to significantly predict disability (WHODAS II) after five years. CONCLUSION: The WHODAS II is a useful instrument for measuring disability in AS in that it accurately reflects disease specific instruments and that it shows similar responsiveness scores. In AS, a short term change on the WHODAS II is associated with a change in physical function. At the group level, disease activity and physical functioning may predict disability after five years.  (+info)

Decrease in heart rates by artificial CO2 hot spring bathing is inhibited by beta1-adrenoceptor blockade in anesthetized rats. (7/51)

To investigate the effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) hot spring baths on physiological functions, head-out immersion of urethane-anesthetized, fursheared male Wistar rats was performed. Animals were immersed in water (30 or 35 degrees C) with high-CO2 content ( approximately 1,000 parts/million; CO2-water). CO2-water for bathing was made by using an artificial spa maker with normal tap water and high-pressure CO2 from a gas cylinder. When a human foot was immersed for 10 min in the CO2-water at 35 degrees C, the immersed skin reddened, whereas skin color did not change in normal tap water at the same temperature. Arterial blood pressure, heart rate (HR), underwater skin tissue blood flow, and temperatures of the colon and immersed skin were continuously measured while animals were immersed in a bathtub of water for approximately 30 min at room temperature (26 degrees C). Immersed skin vascular resistance, computed from blood pressure and tissue blood flow, was significantly lower in the CO2-water bath than in tap water at 30 degrees C, but no differences were apparent at 35 degrees C. HR of rats in CO2-water was significantly slower than in tap water at 35 degrees C. Decreased HR in CO2-water was inhibited by infusion of atenolol (beta1-adrenoceptor blocker), but it was unaffected by atropine (muscarinic cholinoceptor blocker). Theses results suggest that bradycardia in CO2 hot spring bathing is caused by inhibition of the cardiac sympathetic innervation. This CO2-water maker should prove a useful device for acquiring physiological evidence of balneotherapy.  (+info)

Biochemical comparison between radon effects and thermal effects on humans in radon hot spring therapy. (8/51)

The radioactive and thermal effects of radon hot spring were biochemically compared under a sauna room or hot spring conditions with a similar chemical component, using the parameters that are closely involved in the clinic for radon therapy. The results showed that the radon and thermal therapy enhanced the antioxidation functions, such as the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, which inhibit lipid peroxidation and total cholesterol produced in the body. Moreover the therapy enhanced concanavalin A (ConA)-induced mitogen response and increased the percentage of CD4 positive cells, which is the marker of helper T cells, and decreased the percentage of CD8 positive cells, which is the common marker of killer T cells and suppressor T cells, in the white blood cell differentiation antigen (CD8/CD4) assay. Furthermore, the therapy increased the levels of alpha atrial natriuretic polypeptide (alpha ANP), beta endorphin, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), insulin and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH), and it decreased the vasopression level. The results were on the whole larger in the radon group than in the thermal group. The findings suggest that radon therapy contributes more to the prevention of life-style-related diseases related to peroxidation reactions and immune suppression than to thermal therapy. Moreover, these indicate what may be a part of the mechanism for the alleviation of hypertension, osteoarthritis (pain), and diabetes mellitus brought about more by radon therapy than by thermal therapy.  (+info)