- Spa therapy seems to have a role in the treatment of a broad range of joint diseases. It cannot substitute for conventional therapy but can complement it. The improvement reported in some of the studies is of short duration, lasting for months. It should be considered for patients suffering from various types of inflammatory arthritides or noninflammatory arthritides who are symptomatic, despite accepted medical therapy and conservative physiotherapy, if they can afford the expense. The patients should be told that the effectiveness and success of this therapy cannot be predicted in advance. Because we have no way to date, of curing most rheumatic diseases, clinical trials of alternative therapeutic methods are justified. These methods may alleviate patient suffering and are almost totally devoid of serious adverse effects. No studies have been reported that evaluate their cost-effectiveness.