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Clinical Study to Evaluate the Efficacy of Hijāma bi’l Shart (Wet Cupping) in the Management of Musculoskeletal Pain- A CaseSeries

Hina Rehman, Qamar Uddin, Munawwar Husain Kazmi and Syeda Khadeerunnisa

Hippocratic Journal of Unani Medicine
Hippocratic Journal of Unani Medicine April – June 2017, Vol. 12 No. 2, Pages 65-74


Chronic pain is a global public health problem, causing major consequences for the quality of life of the sufferer and a major burden on the healthcare system in the world. Chronic pain of moderate to severe intensity has been estimated to occur in 19% of adult Europeans, seriously affecting their daily activities, social and working lives. H.ijāma (cupping) is one among various regimes of Ilāj bi’l Tadbīr (Regimen Therapy) used in Unani System of Medicine to alleviate pain since ages. This case-series study was designed to evaluate the effect of H.ijāma bi’l Shart. (wet cupping) in musculoskeletal pain conditions. This study was conducted at the Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine, Hyderabad, during 2016-17. Seventy seven patients of either gender, aged 20-60 years, having moderate to severe musculoskeletal pain, including Waja‘ al-Khās.ira (low back pain), ‘Waja‘ al-Rukba (knee pain) and ‘Waja‘ al-‘Unuq (neck pain) and Waja‘ al-Katif (shoulder pain) were included in this case series. Two cupping therapy sessions were performed one week apart. Post-treatment follow-up was conducted after two weeks of treatment. Response to therapy was evaluated by visual analogue scale (VAS) and patient global assessment of response to treatment (PGART). Student-‘t’ test was applied and P-value <0.05 was considered significant. There was a significant reduction in pain after two sessions of H.ijāma bi’l Shart. as assessed by VAS (P<0.05). This case series suggests that H. ijāma bi’l Shart. (wet cupping) is effective in the management of musculoskeletal pain; however, there is a need to conduct randomised controlled clinical trials with larger sample size and more cupping therapy sessions before arriving at any firm conclusion.

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