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Effect of Hijama Bil Shart (Wet Cupping Therapy) in Treatment of Waja‘ al-Zahr (Low Backache): A Randomized Standard Controlled Clinical Study

Mohd Anwar, Mohammad Saad Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Anas, Sayed Javed Ali, Mohammed Yasir


Introduction: Low back pain (Waja‘ al-Zahr) is one of the common musculoskeletal problems. It affects 80% population and accounts for considerable health care and profound economic burden. Disabilities in activities of daily living are common due to low back pain. Despite advancement in medicine, the standard conventional treatment often fails to achieve optimal results. Unani physicians recommended various modes of treatment to manage musculoskeletal disorders through intervention of specific regimens and pharmacotherapy. Wet cupping therapy (Hijama bil Shart) has been recommended for the treatment of low back pain and has been reported to have significant effect on reducing pain and improving quality of life. Keeping in view of the above facts, a randomized standard controlled study was designed. Methods: A randomized standard controlled clinical trial was carried out on 60 diagnosed patients of low back pain (30 in each group) attending the Ilaj Bit Tadbeer outpatient department, Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College, Aligarh, India. After meeting inclusion criteria and random allocation, patients of control group were advised to locally apply Diclofenac gel on lumbar region daily for 28 days and those in test group received Hijama bil Shart (wet cupping) on weekly basis for four weeks. Assessment of patients in each group was done on Visual Analogue Scale, Oswestry Disability Index and on Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index. Result and Conclusion: Both test and control group treatment were found to be effective in reducing pain tenderness and disability on Visual Analogue Scale, Oswestry Disability Index and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index scoring (p<0.01). No group was found superior to each other (p>0.05); but the trial regimen was found more effective in reducing disability (p>0.05) and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index scoring (p>0.05) as compared to standard control.


low back ache, Waja‘ al-Zahr, cupping therapy, Hijama bil Shart, Unani

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