Effect of wet cupping on reducing bone pain for patients in King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Saudi Arabia. A retrospective study

Saudi Med J. 2019 Jun;40(6):619-623. doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.6.23615.


Objectives: To investigate the effectiveness of wet cupping as alternative treatment on reducing bone pain and built a model that predicts the level of improvement for patients who suffer from bone pain.

Methods: This retrospective study was conducted on 289 patients referred from specialty clinics to Prophetic Medicine Clinics (PMC) between September 2013 and August 2015. The effectiveness of cupping is assessed on patients with bone pain who were redirected to PMC, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. An artificial neural network (ANN) method was used to propose a model that predicts levels of improvement for patients suffering from bone pain. Therefore, a random sample of 90% of the data was used to build the ANN model and tested by the remaining 10%. Inferential statistics were conducted to study relations and compare blood tests before and after treatment.

Results: Out of 289 patients suffering from bone pain, more than 11% were completely cured, and 55% improved after wet cupping treatment sessions. The proposed ANN model showed a good performance with more than 72% accuracy. In addition, the statistical analysis showed a significant improvement for most blood tests.

Conclusion: Wet cupping has positive effects on reducing bone pain. We recommend the use of an ANN model in PMC to predict whether patients will benefit from the treatment to reduce pain. This is a recommendation for further study not a conclusion.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone and Bones*
  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Nerve Net
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Young Adult