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IJTK Vol.08(3) [July 2009] >


Title: Safety and efficacy of leeching therapy for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis using Indian medicinal leech
Authors: Zaidi, SM Abbas
Jamil, SS
Sultana, A
Zaman, F
Fuzail, M
Keywords: Leach therapy
Knee Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis
Unani medicine
Issue Date: Jul-2009
Publisher: CSIR
IPC CodeInt. Cl.8: A61K36/00, A61P19/00, A61P19/02, A61P19/08, A61P21/00
Abstract: The leeching therapy has been used in Unani System of Medicine to treat various ailments including joints pain. A small randomized trial was conducted to compare the combined efficacy of leeching therapy (Hirudinaria granulosa) and the traditional Unani herbal formulations against the same traditional formulation alone. Intervention was carried out in 40 patients over a period of 6 weeks. Primary outcome measure was Womac pain score. Secondary end points consisted of all other Womac subscores and the Womac total score during the study, active range of motion (knee flexion) and the eight meter walk test. Mixed models were used for statistical analysis. Significant improvements in disease-specific symptoms were observed after six weeks of treatment in patients receiving leeching therapy along with traditional Unani formulation. Pain level of leeching group decreased by 29.02%, stiffness by 58.87% and functional ability increased by 40.56%, Womac total score showed overall change by 45.10%. Control group (the group which received the traditional drug alone) showed decrease in pain by 14.39%, stiffness by 8.04%, physical function by 18.39% and Womac total score by 11.66%. Eight meter walk test showed 6.87% improvement in comparison to control group in which 2.86% change was noted. No significant difference was observed in active range of motion in both the groups. However, this study lacked a standard control group, blinding was not feasible, sample size was small and duration of study was short.
Page(s): 437-442
ISSN: 0975-1068 (Online); 0972-5938 (Print)
Source:IJTK Vol.08(3) [July 2009]

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