Introduction: In most musculoskeletal disorders, primary medicine seeking symptom is a pain, but due to “time taking the line of treatment” of Ayurveda in chronic conditions common mass adopts non-sectorial anti-inflamatory drug (NSAIDs) and other analgesics even if undesirable. This study is an attempt to provide an alternative to NSAIDs for pain management by Ayurvedic means.
Materials and Methods: Eighteen patients suffering from painful musculoskeletal disorders of varied etiology, i.e., osteoarthritis (OA)/rheumatoid arthristis (RA)/low back pain (LBA)/ Gout, primarily having knee joint pain, were randomly divided in three groups with six patients in each group, These patients were unable to perform their routine activity without NSAIDs. Group A patients were given Etoricoxib. Group B patients were given three sittings of Leech therapy (Jalaukavacharana) within 3 days. While Group C patients were given sugar-coated tablets. The assessment was done on 1st day, 9th day and 15th day based on changes in subjective criterias and outcome was statistically analyzed.
Results: Pain was significantly reduced in the patients treated with Leech therapy, and the relief consistency was better than NSAID treated group. However, the results obtained in Group C patient were not significant.
Conclusion: In this pilot study, Leech therapy has shown promising results in pain management and can be used as a substitute for modern analgesics. However, more studies with large sample sizes are required to justify this clinical outcome so that Leech therapy can be implemented as a pain management module instead of NSAIDs in painful musculoskeletal conditions.
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