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Linking hyperthermic procedures (as part of spa treatment) to physical exercise treatment, observations, statistical analysis


Baseline: Hyperthermic procedures are part of a spa treatment and represent a suitable preparation for physical therapy. The relevant literature offers insufficient information on the assessment of the impact that the sequence of these procedures has on the overall effect of the spa treatment.

Patients: 31 patients with an average age of 70.6 years with knee arthrosis were divided into two subgroups during their 3-week spa treatment at SLK Piešťany. In the study group (14 patients), the sequence of hyperthermic procedures and physical exercise was strictly complied with. In the control subgroup (17 patients), this sequence was not complied with.

Methods: At the beginning and end of the spa treatment, both groups were assessed for the following parameters: pain using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) in mm, Lequesn´s functional index and the knee’s range of motion as measured by a goniometer.

Results: Compliance with the sequence of hyperthermic procedures and physical therapy did not have an unequivocal impact on the treatment results. In both subgroups, the VAS was reduced: in the basic set, it was from 55.9 ± 16.9 to 31.1 ± 15.2, while in the control group it was from 56.2 ± 16.2 to 31.4 ± 15.9 (p=0.49). The total number of points on the Lequesn´s functional index was reduced in the basic set from 8.4 ± 2.6 to 5.4 ± 2.2, and in the control group from 9.1 ± 3.3 to 6.5 ± 2.9 (p=0.33). The range of motion was slightly improved in both sets. However, the changes are not significant.

Conclusion: The fact that the sequence of the procedures has no significant effect on the result of the spa treatment permits the acceptance of the current practice in our spa facilities, where, due to organisational and technical reasons, it is necessary to schedule the procedures according to the availability of individual workplaces from the morning hours.


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