To evaluate the feasibility of comparing the effect of the traditional Hijamah and the Asian wet cupping techniques in the management of patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP), a randomized clinical trial comparing traditional and Asian wet cupping techniques for CLBP was conducted in two secondary care hospitals in Saudi Arabia. Seventy eligible participants with CLBP were randomized to receive one session of wet cupping using either Asian technique (34 patients) or traditional Hijamah technique (36 patients). Cupping was performed at four sites of the bilateral bladder meridian (BL23, BL24, and BL25). The numeric rating scale, Present Pain Intensity, and Oswestry Disability Questionnaire scores were measured immediately after intervention, at seven days, and 14 days after intervention. In both groups, there was a significant decrease in the numeric rating scale, Present Pain Intensity, and Oswestry Disability Questionnaire scores, immediately after intervention, at seven days, and 14 days after intervention. However, there was no significant difference between the two groups across all the outcome measures up to 14 days after intervention. The study did not show a superiority of one technique compared with the other. Longer follow-up periods and more than one cupping session may be needed to evaluate the difference, if any, between both the techniques. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02012205.
Keywords: Hijamah; Saudi Arabia; cupping; low back pain; traditional cupping.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.