CLINICAL EFFICACY AND SAFETY OF LEECHING IN KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS
Leeching Therapy (Irsal-e-Alaq) is an integral part of regimental therapy used in Unani System of Medicine. It has been successfully practiced by Greeko-Arabic physicians in the management of Joint 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 Leeching
... fety of Leeching Therapy (Irsal-e-Alaq) in the patients of knee Osteoarthritis on scientific parameters. Methodology: The study was conducted in the Regimental Therapy ward RRIUM, Srinagar. 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 2 fresh leeches were applied on the affected areas of the beard till leeches were belly filled and fell down of their own (approximately 45 minutes). Then antiseptic dressing was applied on the site. This leech therapy was done every after 15 days for two months. The efficacy of Leeching therapy 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 post-treatment group (P <0.01) as compared to pre-treatment group. Conclusion: It is concluded in this observational non comparison study that Leeching therapy may be used safely and effectively in the management of Osteoarthritis.