Efficacy of Leech Therapy in the Management of Osteoarthritis: A Comparative Clinical Study

K Mohammad Nasar, Arifuddin A, K. Tabassum, Yasmin Y


Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common chronic conditions and over half of the patients with OA report being limited in their daily activities because of pain. Physical activity and exercise reduce the pain, but do not relieve the cause. This study was done to emphasize the efficacy of leech therapy in the management of Waja-ul-Mafasil (osteoarthritis) in the Department of Moalijat (General Medicine), Govt. Nizamia Tibbi College & Hospital, Hyderabad, during the period 2005–2008. The study consisted of 20 patients in each test and comparative group. Patients between 36 and 65 years of age with the complaint of pain in both knee joints during movement and which is relieved by rest, difficulty in walking and in standing after prolonged sitting on the ground, persistent osteoarthritic symptoms for at least 6 months were included in the study. Patients were given treatment, i.e., oral decoction of Unani herbs and local application of leech in test group, whereas in comparative group oral and local Unani herbal formulation was given for 4 weeks and follow-up done after one month. Intensity of pain was assessed by visual analogous scale (VAS) before and after trial. Results were assessed by using the student ‘t’ test and two groups were compared regarding pain relief by X2 test. The result of the study showed a significant reduction in pain by both test (p < 0.05) and comparative groups (p < 0.01). Local application of leech on osteoarthritis is significant in comparison to local application of Unani herbal medicine.

Keywords: Osteoarthritis, leech therapy, Irsale Alaq, morbid humors and Unani herbal formulation.



Osteoarthritis, Leech therapy, Irsale Alaq, Morbid humours and Unani Herbal Formulation

Full Text:

 Subscribers Only


  • There are currently no refbacks.