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CLINICAL RESEARCH
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 213-217

Efficacy of leech therapy in the management of osteoarthritis (Sandhivata)


1 Ph.D. Scholar, Department of Kayachikitsa, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Ph.D., Department of Kayachikitsa, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Reader, Department of Kayachikitsa, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Professor, Department of Kayachikitsa, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
5 Medical Officer, Department of Shalya Shalakya, Faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
P K Rai
Plot No.146, Mahamanapuri Colony, Karoundi, Varanasi - 221005, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-8520.92589

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Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) is the most common joint disorder. It mostly affects cartilage. The top layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. Osteoarthritis is of two types, primary (idiopathic) and secondary. In idiopathic osteoarthritis, the most common form of the disease, no predisposing factor is apparent. Secondary OA is pathologically indistinguishable from idiopathic OA but is attributable to an underlying cause. In Ayurveda the disease Sandhivata resembles with osteoarthritis which is described under Vatavyadhi. The NSAIDs are the main drugs of choice in modern medicine which have lots of side effects and therefore are not safe for long-term therapy. Raktamokshan, i.e., blood letting is one of the ancient and important parasurgical procedures described in Ayurveda for treatment of various diseases. Of them, Jalaukavacharana or leech therapy has gained greater attention globally, because of its medicinal values. The saliva of leech contains numerous biologically active substances, which have antiinflammatory as well as anesthetic properties. Keeping this view in mind we have started leech therapy in the patients of osteoarthritis and found encouraging results.


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