OBJECTIVE: We studied whether whirl baths with plain water or with water containing pine oil or valerian have a different influence on pain, disturbed sleep or tender point count.
METHODS: A randomized, comparative and investigator-blinded study was performed. Out-patients with generalized fibromyalgia were randomized into three treatment groups.
RESULTS: 30 out of 39 patients included in the study were evaluated statistically. After treatment with valerian bath (n = 12) well-being and sleep were significantly improved and also the tender point count decreased significantly. Pine oil added to the bath water (n = 7) resulted in a significant improvement of well-being, but unfortunately also in a significant decrease of pain threshold of the shinbone and the right deltoid muscle. Whirl bath in plain water (n = 11) reduced general and maximum pain intensity significantly.
CONCLUSIONS: Our cautious conclusion of this study is – with respect to the small number of treated patients – that different effects of whirl baths with or without medicinal bath oils can be detected in fibromyalgia patients. Plain water baths modify the pain intensity, medicinal baths improve well-being and sleep.
Source: Forschungsstelle fur Physikalische Diagnostik, Wien. Journal: Forschende Komplementarmedizin, 1999 Apr;6(2 Suppl 2):80-5. This research study also published by Health Resource in Healthwatch, Summer, 1999