Osteoarthritis is one of the most commonly occurring arthritis.
It is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage leading to pain, stiffness, and disability.
Symptoms often include pain and stiffness in the joints.
It is commonly observed in the thumbs, neck, lower back, knees, and hips.
Doctors diagnose arthritis by determining clinical history, x rays, magnetic resonance imaging, and physical examination.
There are various ways to treat arthritis most of which involve bringing about changes in one’s lifestyle like controlling weight and exercise along with non-drug therapies, medication to relieve pain and in some cases surgery.
Treatment aims at controlling the pain and improving the function of the joint.
There are natural treatments like mud bath therapies that can be used as an alternative or add-on therapy to conventional medications.
Let’s first understand what the therapy involves and the benefits of mud therapy.
What is Mud Therapy and its benefits?
Mud is one of the five elements of nature that provides a number of health benefits and is, therefore, is commonly used as a therapy to cure various ailments.
It is popularly used in naturopathy to benefit the body from the inside and out.
Its cooling properties, ability to adapt, cheap and easy availability make it’s used advantageously to be used as an add-on therapy.
Its application not only rejuvenates the body but can be applied as an ointment, absorbs toxic chemicals or substances, cools the body and can successfully treat skin diseases, headache and constipation.
Studies show that mud therapy is effective in preventing and treating osteoarthritis as well as symptoms associated with it. So, let’s take a look at the benefits of mud therapy for osteoarthritis and its symptoms particularly.
4 Awesome Benefits of Mud Therapy For Osteoarthritis
Here are a few studies that have examined the benefits of mud therapy in osteoarthritis.
It relieves pain
Osteoarthritis can be very painful, and this renders the disability of the affected joints. It, therefore, becomes essential to look for natural as well as effective alternative therapies to painkilling drugs.
A study published in Rheumatology in 2013 demonstrated the efficacy of mud therapy in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
The results showed significant improvement in pain and functioning of the affected joint thereby improving the quality of life of the patients.
An observational study published in the Journal of International Medical Research reported that mud therapy provided acts as a pain reliever in patients with osteoarthritis as compared to the control group patients indicating its pain relieving properties.
What does this mean? Mud therapy can be used as a method to relieve pain in the affected joints in osteoarthritis. This can significantly improve the quality of life of the patients.
It has anti-inflammatory property
Inflammation in the joints causes pain and causes disability in movements.
Long-term inflammation can lead to the destruction of the tissues surrounding the joints as well hence it needs to be taken care of.
A study published in Europe PMC in 1997 confirmed that mud pack therapy regulates inflammatory molecules like cytokines and interleukins.
This suggests it's possible anti-inflammatory activity on cartilage inflammation and destruction of tissues in joints of patients with osteoarthritis.
Another study published in the same journal described the benefits of mud pack therapy with hot water in reducing inflammation as well as associated pain and stress in the joints affected by osteoarthritis.
What does this mean? Mud baths impart anti-inflammatory effects that relieve inflamed joints and associated pain, oxidative stress and destruction of tissues in osteoarthritis.
It prevents oxidative stress
The increase in the oxidative free radicals in the body leads to various other medical complications and needs to be controlled to worsen pain and disability in osteoarthritis.
A study conducted by Jokic et. al. assessing the effectiveness of mud packs on the patients with knee arthritis reported that its application on the affected joint significantly decreased peroxidation of lipids reducing oxidative stress within three weeks.
Another study published by Bellometti et al. in 1996 reported that mud pack therapy significantly increases antioxidant levels in the serum increasing antioxidant defences of the body to fight against oxidative stress.
What does this mean? Minerals in mud pack therapy improve natural antioxidant defense and prevent disease progression in osteoarthritis.
It reduces dependency on drugs
Quite a bit of time is consumed in observing the effects of conventional osteoarthritis treatment.
This causes patients to become dependent on drugs for relieving the symptoms.
However, this also increases the cost of the treatment.
Mudpack therapy not only proves to be beneficial in the management of the disease but also is a cost-effective alternative.
A study published Rheumatologia Clinica described clinical trials that showed the effectiveness of mud therapy (cold water) for the treatment of osteoarthritis due to its immediate effect on the affected area.
They suggested that this therapy can reduce the consumption of drugs in patients suffering from the condition making the treatment more cost-effective.
A study conducted by Flusser et al. in 2002 analyzing the efficacy of mud therapy for osteoarthritis reported that the therapy is effective in temporarily managing the symptoms and can enhance the effectiveness of conventional medications prescribed for the condition when used as an add-on therapy.
What does this mean? As studies report the clinical efficacy of mud pack for treating osteoarthritis it has also been suggested that it can enhance the effectiveness of conventional drugs used in the treatment by including it as an add on therapy.
Is mud pack therapy safe and effective for osteoarthritis?
Mud baths can be safe and highly beneficial in osteoarthritis if not overused.
Certain studies suggest the use of mud packs as an add-on therapy to medications to reduce drug dependency as well as the cost of the treatment.
It can successfully relieve patients from the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Mudpack therapies are safe to use as they are natural sources and do not exhibit any toxicity or side effects. However, the use of therapy may cause certain side effects.
Mud baths use mud derived from different regions and this it could lead to side effects in rare cases most probably if you have sensitive skin.
These side effects include inflammation or rashes on the skin. It may also affect skin tone.
Please avoid its use if any of these side effects appear.
Most mud packs have certain instructions and guidelines regarding the method of application and time it needs to be kept before being washed off.
Especially If you wish to do it yourself at home, you must know whether to apply the mixture with hot water or cold water before starting the treatment.
There has been no study assessing the safety of mud pack therapy during pregnancy and lactation.
Please consult an appropriate health practitioner before starting mud pack therapy.
Mud therapy is a simple, safe and effective therapy for treatment and management of symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.
There are various studies demonstrating its clinical effectiveness however further trials are required to confirm the results.
We can conclude that mud therapy serves as an effective add-on therapy to enhance the effectiveness of medications combined with regular exercise to speed up the treatment time.