The Observational Study of Reduction in Inflammatory Markers and Simultaneous Reduction in Joint Inflammation in Patients of Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated by Leech Therapy
Keywords:Leech Therapy, Inflammatory markers, Aamvata, Rheumatoid arthritis, analgesic, anesthetic
The sense of pain in arthritis carries the highest stigma among the sufferers as well as the treating physicians.
It makes the life miserable for the patients along with the disability the disease rheumatoid arthritis causes,
which can be correlated to Aamvata in Ayurveda.There are the conventional treatment options which
are available in the form of shodhana and shanmana. Besides NSAID.s and corticosteroids in modern
medicine rendering many side effects Ayurveda offers drugless healing art in the form of jaloukavacharan
also known as leech therapy which is known for the anti-inflammatory and analgesic, anesthetic actions
of leech salivary gland secretions. Hence, a protocol was designed for the doctoral research on “Study of
inflammatory markers in patients of Rheumatoid Arthritis treated by leech therapy”, for the assessment of
subjective parameters of pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, loss of function of joints assessed by standard
criterion, and objective parameters like CRP and ESR before and after leech therapy for 10 sittings on
alternate days. Observations were taken on day 0 and day 21, and follow up taken on day 30 and day 45.
Statistical tests were applied which revealed significant results of anti-inflammatory effect of leech therapy
on CRP(relative change 23.54%),with p value =0.0001,than ESR(relative change 10.30). Leech therapy was
found to be having highly significant effect on pain score (relative change 57.62%), followed by tenderness
score(relative change 72%) and followed by significant increase in walking effect (relative change 56.67%).
There was statistically significant improvement in other subjective parameters of assessment like swelling
on ankle(relative change by 11.73).,knee joint(relative change 10.29),redness(relative change25%),walking
effect(relative change 72%),rise in local temperature(relative change 61.90%) withp value,0.0001.with corelatable clinical improvement.
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