Novel non-pharmacological treatment for degenerative joint and disc disease

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BACKGROUND: The most common pathologies in the structure of musculoskeletal disorders are osteoarthritis and non-specific back pain caused by degenerative disc disease, proportion is 20% and 46%, respectively. According to the new WHO initiative "Rehabilitation-2030: call for action", the implementation of non-pharmacological methods in the treatment programs for patients with degenerative joint and disc disease is of great importance.

AIMS: A clinical study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a new method of balneo-thalassotherapy — seaweed in the form of local applications and general baths in patients with osteoarthritis and back pain.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A randomized controlled clinical trial included 40 patients (mean age 51.67±0.65 years). Patients were divided into 3 groups: 1group (n=15) — patients received local applications of seaweed on the joints and affected segments of the spine, and basic medical treatment; 2 group (n=15) — patients received procedures of seaweed general baths, and basic medical treatment; 3 group (control, n=10) — patients received only basic medical therapy. The treatment course was 20 days (15 procedures with a break for the weekend).

RESULTS: A significant positive effect of the method of seaweed therapy on the clinical symptoms of degenerative pathology of the joints and spine was demonstrated: decreasing of pain, improving of the level of motor activity and daily functioning, and an increase in the quality of life was noted. The effectiveness of the treatment was 73.3–80%.

CONCLUSION: The obtained results prove the effectiveness of using seaweed in patients with degenerative pathology of the joints and spine with pain syndrome. This treatment method can be included in rehabilitation programs for these patients as local applications or general bath procedure.

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About the authors

Marina Y. Gerasimenko

Russian Medical Academy of Continuing Professional Education


Dr. Sci. (Med.), Professor

Russian Federation, Moscow

Nazim G. Badalov

Scientific and Practical Center of Medical and Social Rehabilitation of Disabled People named after L.I. Shvetsova; I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University)

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1407-3038
SPIN-code: 2264-4351

Dr. Sci. (Med.), Professor

Russian Federation, Moscow; Moscow

Irina V. Borodulina

Russian Medical Academy of Continuing Professional Education

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7526-1553
SPIN-code: 2152-5737

Cand. Sci. (Med.)

Russian Federation, Moscow

Anastasiya A. Mukhina

National Medical Research Center for Rehabilitation and Balneology

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8960-4318
SPIN-code: 4615-3727

Cand. Sci. (Med.)

Russian Federation, Moscow


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