THERAPEUTIC APPLICATION OF AL HIJAMAH (CUPPING THERAPY) IN OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE KNEE
Background: Al Hijamah (Cupping Therapy) is an integral part of regimenal therapy used in Unani System of Medicine. It has been successfu lly practiced by Greeko-Arabic physicians in the management of musculoskeletal and neurological disorders since antiquity. Osteoarthritis is the commonest form of arthritis and is a major cause of pain and disability in the elderly. The incidence of arthritis has increased considerably in present scenario. Objective: The present study was aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Al Hijamah in the patients of knee Osteoarthritis on scientific parameters. Methodology: The study was conducted in the Regimenal Therapy Unit of 50 Beded Govt. Unani Hospital Srinagar J&K India. 75 patients of OA were enrolled in the trial after obtaining their informed consents. All the patients were clinically assessed and diagnosed on the basis of thorough history, clinical and radiological examination of the affected joint. Then Al Hijamah (Dry Cupping) was applied on the affected joint for a period of approximately 15-20 minutes as per the standard schedule over four weeks. The efficacy of Al Hijamah was assessed on the basis of Western Ontario and McMaster University (WOMAC) Score and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) Score. Results: The results were analyzed statistically by using a Paired Student’s t-test. There was a significant reduction in the WOMAC and VAS scores of posttreatment group (P <0.01) as compared to pre-treatment group. Conclusion: It is concluded in this observational non comparison study that Al Hijamah may be used safely and effectively in the management of Osteoarthritis.