Balint (2007) The effect of the thermal mineral water of Nagybaracska on patients with knee joint osteoarthritis—a double blind study

Introduction to the Study
This study investigates the effects of Nagybaracska’s thermal mineral water on patients with primary knee osteoarthritis. Conducted in a non-spa setting, this randomized, double-blind clinical trial compared the outcomes of thermal mineral water therapy against tap water treatment.

Methodology of the Research
The study enrolled 64 patients with nonsurgical knee osteoarthritis, dividing them into two groups for either thermal mineral water or tap water treatments. Each group underwent 30-minute bathing sessions five times a week over four weeks. The effectiveness of the treatments was assessed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) indices, immediately before, after the treatment, and during a 3-month follow-up.

Findings from the Thermal Mineral Water Treatment
Patients treated with thermal mineral water showed significant improvements in WOMAC activity, pain, and total scores. These positive outcomes were sustained even after three months, indicating a lasting benefit of the thermal mineral water treatment over the control group.

Comparative Analysis with Tap Water Treatment
While the tap water group also experienced improvements at the treatment’s end, these were not sustained during the follow-up period. This contrast highlights the unique and enduring benefits of thermal mineral water therapy for knee osteoarthritis patients.

Conclusion and Implications for Future Research
The study concludes that thermal mineral water significantly enhances activity, pain, and overall wellness in knee osteoarthritis patients compared to tap water treatment, with benefits extending beyond the treatment period. This finding opens avenues for further research into the specific properties of thermal mineral water that contribute to its therapeutic effects.

Keywords: thermal mineral water, knee osteoarthritis, Nagybaracska, double-blind study, WOMAC indices, treatment efficacy, non-spa therapy.

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