Short-term benefits of balneotherapy for patients with chronic pelvic pain: a pilot study in Korea

Kyung Jin Min, Hoon Choi, Bum Sik Tae, Min Goo Lee, Sung Jae Lee, Kwang Dae Hong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this study was to evaluate whether balneotherapy might be effective in patients with chronic pelvic pain (CPP) in the short term. This was an open and prospective pilot study. The balneotherapy programme was performed in a spa resort located in Wando Island, Republic of Korea from August 26 2018 to September 1 2018. It consisted of 10 heated seawater baths (38 °C, 20 minutes) and 10 mud-pack applications (40 °C, 10 minutes) for five days. Sixteen patients were enrolled. Upon analysing responses from a patient questionnaire, we found improvement in parameters such as pain, bladder irrigation symptoms and quality of life after balneotherapy. Inflammatory marker IL-1 and TNF-α was significantly decreased after treatment compared to baseline. There were no adverse events during treatment. Our data suggest that five-day balneotherapy can be beneficial for patients with CPP in the short term.Impact statementWhat is already known on this subject? The majority of articles in the field of balneotherapy discuss the treatment of rheumatic or dermatological disease. However, data on the effectiveness of balneotherapy for chronic pelvic pain are very limited. Whatthe results of this studyadd? Our study suggests that balneotherapy can be beneficial for patients with CPP in the short-term. The duration of balneotherapy was five days, which is shorter than that of the European studies. Intuitively, it may be doubtful whether short-term therapy has any practical effect. As most people living in Korea have a vacation period of about one week each in summer and winter, the choice of a five-day programme in our study reflects the reality of vacation schedules. Whatthe implicationsareof these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? Further studies are necessary to demonstrate the persistence of these benefits on the long term, as well as their existence in appropriate control group and different duration of treatment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)520-525
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This research was a part of a project entitled, ‘A base study on the use of resources from the sea in healing interventions in order to improve the marine industry’, funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries under Grant No. 20170242. The authors would like to thank the coordinator, ‘Mi-ok Seo,’ for collaboration on the study.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


    • Balneotherapy
    • chronic pelvic pain
    • complementary therapies
    • mud therapy
    • seawater

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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