Nearly one in two people (46%) will develop painful knee osteoarthritis over their lifetime, with the highest risk among those who are obese. According to the Arthritis Foundation, these statistics underscore the immediate need for the public to understand what they can do to reduce the tremendous pain, disability and cost associated with arthritis.

New research shows spa therapies, including massage, benefit patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
The randomized, controlled study look at two groups: a control group of people who received massages, showers, mud and pool sessions, as well as home-based exercises, and another group who received all of the above in addition to additional spa treatments.

“For patients with knee OA a 3 week course of spa therapy together with home exercises and usual pharmacological treatments offers benefit after six months compared to exercises and usual treatment alone, and is well tolerated,” the researchers concluded.

An abstract of the research is posted on, and the full article is running in the current (Sept. 3) issue of Annals of Rheumatoid Disease. The research was conduced at the Centre for Rheumatology and Balneotherapy Research, Aix Les Bains, France.

On Feb. 2 MASSAGE Magazine reported on another research study that showed balneotherapy—soaking in mineral hot pools—benefited osteoarthritis of the knee. In March MASSAGE reported that massage therapy had been found by research to assist with knee osteoarthritis.