A new study examines the therapeutic benefits of mud.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint condition that causes pain and stiffness in the joints.
OA can affect most joints but is more common in those of the knees, hips, and hands.
In the United States, knee OA affects of men and 13% of women aged 60 or older; this makes OA the most common joint disorder in the U.S.
Currently, doctors recommend combination therapy, which includes pain medication and non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as physiotherapy.
The aim is to relieve pain, slow the progress of OA, and help people compensate for any loss of movement.
Because OA is so prevalent and there is still no cure, scientists are keen to find cost effective, drug free ways of relieving symptoms.
Recently, a group of researchers in Lithuania decided to investigate two less well known interventions: peloid therapy and balneotherapy. They published their findings in the .
Peloid therapy and balneotherapy
Peloid therapy is the use of clay or mud to treat ailments. Balneotherapy is a traditional treatment that involves immersing the body in mineral water or mud that is rich in minerals.
For their study, the researchers recruited 92 participants with an average age of 64.6 years, and females represented 87% of the group. All individuals had grade 1–3 knee joint OA according to the Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) grading system.
The KL grading system runs from 1, the least severe, to 5, the most severe.
All three groups received standard physical therapy, which involved 30-minute sessions, carried out every other day for 1 month.