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Balneotherapy/Spa Therapy: Potential Of Nigerian Thermal Hot Spring Waters For Musculoskeletal Disorders And Chronic Health Conditions

Volume 4 - Issue 3, March 2020 Edition
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Oluwaseun O.T., Makama A.Y., Ibrahim S.Z., Rahman S. A., Oladimeji O.
balneotherapy, chronic health conditions, musculoskeletal disorders, Nigeria, thermal mineral water.
Musculoskeletal disorders and chronic health conditions are leading causes of death and disability all over the world. The prevalence of such disorders pose great social and economic burden due to the wide variety of the pathological conditions. Complementary/integrative interventions are commonly utilized to improve quality of life and productivity in such conditions. One approach often recommended is the use of thermal mineral water from hot springs known as balneotherapy/spa therapy. This practice is prevalent in Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Germany, Portugal, Japan, Poland, Spain, Italy, and France. Its therapeutic potentials being reported for various rheumatic diseases, multiple sclerosis, type 2 Diabetes, dermatitis, fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain, cardiovascular disease, chronic venous insufficiency, stress, psoriasis as well as metabolic and respiratory conditions. There are several known and unknown thermal springs in Nigeria which could be effectively utilized for balneotherapy/spa complementary therapy in various prevalent pathological conditions. Among the available thermal springs in the country, only 2 have been developed for leisure and tourism, with none offering spa facilities for therapeutic purposes. This stipulates that such practice is not well-known in the country. This study therefore aims to provide insights into this significant but neglected healthcare option for musculoskeletal disorders and other chronic health conditions based on the physicochemical data of the thermal springs obtained from literatures. Nigerian thermal springs, if investigated and developed into modern health resort, can promote the health/economic development of the Nation by providing cost effective therapy in various pathological conditions.
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