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2017.11.10 - Medicinal thermal water for treating rheumatoid arthritis

Medicinal thermal water for treating rheumatoid arthritis...

What is rheumatoid arthritis and how does it develop? Why can the majority of rheumatic diseases be healed in medical spas? Which type of rheumatoid arthritis isn’t recommended to be treated with medicinal thermal water?   

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis isn’t the name of a single disease, we use this general term for the diseases of the joints located at the meeting points of our bones. This disease can take various forms and it can be caused by many things. It may appear due to the simple wear and tear of the joints, but it can also be triggered by an autoimmune reaction, some kind of virus, bad eating habits, poor body posture, muscle problems or psychological issues.     

Typically the disease manifests in the old age, but younger people can also suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. It is interesting that more women have rheumatic complaints than men, and we don’t know the reasons of this yet; actually, there are many other aspects of the disease that are still being researched.    


The symptoms can also take many forms. Usually rheumatoid arthritis starts with the fingers or the knees being stiff or swollen in the morning, which sensation passes having moved them actively for a few minutes. However, as the disease is turning to the worse, several types of pain appear and finally, when a state of inflammation develops, the pain hardly goes away, causing lots of suffering to rheumatic patients. In this stage doctors often prescribe strong anti-inflammatory medicines and painkillers. When the disease reaches the worst stage, the hand, the fingers and the feet often become visibly deformed.  


How can medicinal thermal water heal rheumatoid arthritis?

Sulphur is an important component of joints. Sulphur plays a role in controlling the complex process of building and degrading the cartilage cells. Consequently, it is best to visit spas with sulphur-containing water if one has rheumatoid arthritis. Sulphur is absorbed through the skin and is incorporated into the tissue that forms our joints, by this greatly improving the condition of patients suffering from locomotor diseases. However, one must pay attention to what kind of sulphur-containing compounds are present in a given medicinal thermal water. It is more difficult for the skin to absorb the sulphur in sulphate ion, but with a drink cure it is incorporated into the human body much more easily.          

Medicinal thermal water that doesn’t contain sulphur can also be good for joint problems to a certain extent, because when one is in hot water, the body relaxes, the metabolism accelerates and the blood circulates faster, thanks to which the body’s self-healing mechanisms are activated. All in all, it isn’t always necessary to travel to a distant spa to find the right medicinal thermal water, because general thermal water can also be useful – especially when the therapy is combined with medicinal gymnastics.  


It can’t be stressed often enough that even if a patient uses the best medicinal thermal water, it isn’t enough to take a few baths because it takes more time to have the healing effect felt, so one should always get a longer period of sulphur water treatment.

When is it not recommended to take a sulphur water treatment?

When someone has severe rheumatoid arthritis, they need to be cautious with hot water baths, no matter what the water’s chemical composition is. If the part of the body affected by the disease causes constant pain, it is swollen or warm and red, it indicates a continuous inflammatory condition, when a long hot bath can make the inflammation worse. Before the start of a treatment, one must always consult a doctor!    

Complimentary treatments

The bath’s effect is weakened if the patient doesn’t reduce those impacts which have lead to the development of rheumatoid arthritis; because of this it is recommended to take the following advice for every rheumatic patient, irrespective of what were the reasons because of which the disease has developed. 

Strengthening the muscles can help to make the bones more stable, and by this to avoid wear and tear. Physical exercise is good for one’s general health and for the joints too, but only if there is no great burden on the joints. Sports that require rapid changes of direction cause great harm to the joints. These sports include various ballgames and skiing, but hiking downhill is bad for the knees, too.     


It is also key what one is eating. Rheumatic patients – no matter why they developed the disease – can prevent the development of the disease or cure it with the right diet. Drinking lots of water and eating food that is rich in minerals can improve the situation. Gout develops due to the uric acid that forms in the human body because of eating animal fats, intestines and red meats; at the same time fatty acids in fish reduce the probability of developing rheumatic diseases.

Rheumatoid arthritis is often the result of incorrect body or foot posture, e.g. flat feet. It is recommended to do relaxation exercise as often as possible, to use ergonomic chair, bed or shoes, and to pay attention to one’s weight! Let’s not forget that psychological problems can also cause faulty body posture, so it isn’t unscientific at all to establish a connection between developing rheumatoid arthritis and the conditions of one’s psyche.        

Sources: Sulphur waters, Sulphur, hydrogen sulphide, carbonyl sulphide   Rheumatic diseases, dermatological diseases. In Budapest: Lukács and Rudas; Parád, Harkány, Mezőkövesd, Bogács, Csisztapuszta