Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not balneotherapy effectively reduces non-specific chronic low back pain in adults.

STUDY DESIGN: Review of three single blind, follow up randomized controlled trials (RCT), published in 2012 and 2005.

DATA SOURCES: Three peer reviewed RCTs were found using PubMed and all compared balneotherapy against various control groups.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: Low back pain of patients was assessed using dose of analgesic consumed, visual analog pain scale (VAS) and Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire (OSWDQ). The tools used to assess significance of outcomes measured were Pvalues, change in mean from baseline, and SD.

RESULTS: Balogh (2005) found statistically significant reduction in VAS of both the treatment and the control group (p0.2 compared to the control group; p>0.3. Tenfer (2012) demonstrated statistically significant outcomes in all three parameters for the balneotherapy group compared to the control group that had no significant pain reduction. Kesiktas (2012) also reported statistically significant results in all three parameters analyzed.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the RCT’s reviewed demonstrate balneotherapy an effective treatment for reducing chronic low back pain. Balneotherapy may also be considered as an adjunct to physical therapy and medical management. Further research is needed to determine length, frequency and mineral composition that may provide the most significant reduction of chronic low back pain in adults.