Effects of balneotherapy with exercise in patients with low back pain
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Low back pain (LBP) is an important clinical, social, and public health problem. Balneotherapy is a type of therapy by hot or warm waters containing minerals. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of balneotherapy with exercise on pulmonary functions, aerobic exercise capacity, resting metabolic rate, body fat %, psychosocial condition and its efficiency on therapy in patients with LBP. Balneotherapy and exercise program were applied to group 1 (14 female, 9 male). Only an exercise program was applied to group 2 (13 female, 8 male). The measurements of maximal oxygen consumption, resting metabolic rate, pulmonary function tests, body fat %, Oswestry disability index, visual analog scale, quality of life measure, symptom checklist-90-revised, the hospital anxiety and depression scale, spine joint mobility tests from all participants were performed before and after the treatment. An improvement was found in pulmonary function test (maximal volunteer ventilation), aerobic exercise capacity, pain and disability scores, spine mobility (extension distance), quality of life, and all psychiatric symptoms (except anxiety) in group 1 following therapy period. Also some improvements were observed in body fat percentage, pulmonary function tests (forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 second, forced expiratory flow at 25% to 75% vital capacity and peak expiratory flow), and other spine joint mobility tests before and after therapy in group 1, though they were not statistically significant. Balneotherapy with exercise could be alternative therapy methods in patients with LBP.