One of the first documented therapies used to treat arthritis dates backs thousands of years, and involves two simple ingredients that can be found in abundance: hot water and mud.
This practice has proved to be an effective treatment method since heat helps to relieve the burning pain caused by inflamed joints. Scientists have also found that the mineral and salt content in certain types of mud and water can produce increased therapeutic effects.
Of course, modern medicine has progressed by leaps and bounds since ancient times, yet arthritis patients still enjoy significant relief by getting down and dirty in therapeutic mud.
A wide range of joint pain relief
Even though it’s far from high tech, researchers have extensively investigated the therapeutic effects of mud on arthritis pain.
More than 25 years ago, an Israeli research team recruited 28 rheumatoid arthritis patients and split them into two groups. Over the course of two weeks, they periodically applied heated mud packs to their arms, legs, necks, and backs.
For one of the groups, researchers used Dead Sea mud, which is rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. The other group applied a “washed out” mud that was less concentrated in minerals.
The majority of the participants in the group using the Dead Sea mud reported significant benefits including:
- Decreased duration of morning stiffness
- Improved hand-grip strength
- Improved self-assessment of disease activity
- Increased number of active joints
- Less pain performing daily activities (brushing teeth, bathing, opening doors, etc.)
Plus, some of these improvements lasted up to three full months after the completion of the study.
Meanwhile, the group using the mud with low mineral content did not report any of these improvements.
Researchers have also found mineral-rich mud therapy to be effective in alleviating a specific type of joint pain. In a 2012 study, Spanish researchers conducted a review of 20 clinical trials that tested mud pack therapy in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
In their analysis, published in the journal Rheumatology, the researchers reported significant improvements in joint function, perceived pain, and quality of life.
And in his Arthritis Relief and Reversal Protocol, Dr. Marc Micozzi cites a study where researchers found lower levels of pain-producing neuropeptides in osteoarthritis patients treated with hot mudpacks and thermal baths.
Bring the warm springs home
Heat, water, mud, and salt.
“These four elements,” Dr. Micozzi says, “have been used in folk medicine for thousands of years to combat pain.”
He then poses the question, “Would people have kept using them if they DIDN’T work?”
Despite the long history of using mud and warm mineral water from natural springs, scientists still don’t know exactly how these remedies work. But the research shows they clearly produce beneficial effects.
And if you don’t live near a natural hot spring, you can bring the hot springs to you. Dr. Micozzi notes that therapeutic salts and Dead Sea mud packs are available online via retailers like Amazon.com. You may also be able to find these products for sale in your local spa or apothecary.
Dr. Micozzi’s Arthritis Relief and Reversal Protocol features many more non-drug methods for healing and reducing pain in aching joints. To learn more about this unique online learning course for arthritis treatment, or to enroll today, click here.
“Mud pack therapy in rheumatoid arthritis.” Clinical Rheumatology 1992; 11(2): 243-247. PMID: 1617901
“Clinical effectiveness of mud pack therapy in knee osteoarthritis” Rheumatology 2012; 52(4): 659-668. doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kes322