The Use of Wet Cupping for Persistent Nonspecific Low Back Pain: Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial



The Use of Wet Cupping for Persistent Nonspecific Low Back Pain: Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial


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Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of wet cupping therapy as a single treatment for persistent nonspecific low back pain (PNSLBP). Design: Randomized controlled trial comparing wet cupping versus no treatment in PNSLBP. Setting: Outpatient clinic in three secondary care hospitals in Saudi Arabia. Patients: Eighty eligible participants with PNSLBP for at least 3 months were randomly allocated to an intervention group ( n=40) or to a control group ( n=40). Interventions: Six wet cupping sessions within 2 weeks, each of which were done at two bladder meridian (BL) acupuncture points among BL23, BL24, and BL25. Only acetaminophen was allowed as a rescue treatment in both groups. Outcome measures: The Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), McGill Present Pain Intensity (PPI), and Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (ODQ) were used as outcome measures. Numbers of acetaminophen tablets taken were compared at 4 weeks from baseline. Adverse events were recorded. Results: At the end of the intervention, statistically significant differences in the three outcome measures favoring the wet cupping group compared with the control group were seen: NRS score, 29.2 (95% confidence interval [CI], 24.6-33.8) versus 57.9 (95% CI, 53.3-62.6), respectively; PPI score, 1.17 (95% CI, 0.96-1.4) versus 2.3 (95% CI, 2.1- 2.7); and ODQ score, 19.6 (95% CI, 16.5-22.7) versus 35.4 (95% CI, 32.3-38.5) ( p=0.0001). This improvement continued for another 2 weeks after the end of the intervention. Acetaminophen was used less in the wet cupping group, but this difference was not statistically significant. No adverse events were reported. Conclusions: Wet cupping is potentially effective in reducing pain and improving disability associated with PNSLBP at least for 2 weeks after the end of the wet cupping period. Placebo-controlled trials are needed.


Accession Number: 108593140; Source Information: Aug2015, Vol. 21 Issue 8, p504; Subject Term: BACKACHE -- Treatment; Subject Term: ACETAMINOPHEN -- Therapeutic use; Subject Term: ACUPUNCTURE points; Subject Term: ALTERNATIVE medicine; Subject Term: CLINICAL trials; Subject Term: CONFIDENCE intervals; Subject Term: PROBABILITY theory; Subject Term: SAMPLING (Statistics); Subject Term: SCALE analysis (Psychology); Subject Term: STATISTICS; Subject Term: STATISTICAL power analysis; Subject Term: DATA analysis; Subject Term: QI (Chinese philosophy); Subject Term: PAIN measurement; Subject Term: RANDOMIZED controlled trials; Subject Term: TREATMENT effectiveness; Subject Term: PRE-tests & post-tests; Subject Term: MEDICAL suction; Subject Term: DATA analysis -- Software; Subject Term: FUNCTIONAL assessment; Subject Term: DESCRIPTIVE statistics; Subject Term: ; Geographic Subject: SAUDI Arabia; Geographic Subject: ; Number of Pages: 5p; ; Illustrations: 1 Diagram, 2 Charts, 1 Graph; ; Document Type: Article;

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