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Cupping may ease short-term pain, disability

21 Nov 2020
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Cupping seems to help ease short-term pain intensity and disability, reports a recent meta-analysis, although further studies are needed due to high clinical heterogeneity and risks of bias in the existing literature.

From the databases of PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and Scopus, researchers retrieved 18 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that looked at the impact of any cupping intervention on adult patients with chronic pain conditions, including lower back or neck pain, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, osteoarthritis, or headaches/migraines.

Cupping had a strong and significant short-term impact on pain intensity relative to no treatment (standardized mean difference [SMD], –1.03, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], –1.41 to –0.65; p<0.00001), but not against sham cupping (SMD, –0.27, 95 percent CI, –0.58 to 0.05; p=0.09) or active treatment (SMD, –0.24, 95 percent CI, –0.57 to 0.09; p=0.15).

Similarly, cupping yielded a medium-sized short-term benefit in terms of disability as compared with no treatment (SMD, –0.66, 95 percent CI, –0.99 to –0.34; p=0.0002). Cupping was likewise significantly better for disability relative to other active treatments (SMD, –0.52, 95 percent CI, –1.03 to –0.0028; p=0.05), but no advantage over sham cupping was detected (SMD, –0.26, 95 percent CI, –0.57 to 0.05; p=0.10).

However, the researchers detected concerns regarding evidence quality. Heterogeneity, especially in the comparison between cupping and no treatment, was significant for both pain intensity and disability outcomes. The risk of bias was also high in most studies, particularly in terms of blinding of participants and personnel and of outcome assessments.

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Most Read Articles
10 Jan 2021
Regular practice of yoga postures confers benefits for glucose control, oxidative stress, inflammatory response, and sleep quality in patients with type 2 diabetes, a study has found.
01 Dec 2020
Tetanus toxoid 5 Lf, diphtheria toxoid 2 Lf, pertussis toxoid 2.5 mcg, filamentous haemagglutinin 5 mcg, fimbriae types 2 and 3 5 mcg, pertactin 3 mcg
Dr. Hsu Li Yang, Dr. Tan Thuan Tong, Dr. Andrea Kwa, 08 Jan 2021
Antimicrobial resistance has become increasingly dire as the rapid emergence of drug resistance, especially gram-negative pathogens, has outpaced the development of new antibiotics. At a recent virtual symposium, Dr Hsu Li Yang, Vice Dean (Global Health) and Programme Leader (Infectious Diseases), NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, presented epidemiological data on multidrug-resistant (MDR) gram-negative bacteria (GNB) in Asia, while Dr Tan Thuan Tong, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Infectious Diseases, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), focused on the role of ceftazidime-avibactam in MDR GNB infections. Dr Andrea Kwa, Assistant Director of Research, Department of Pharmacy, SGH, joined the panel in an interactive fireside chat, to discuss challenges, practical considerations, and solutions in MDR gram-negative infections. This Pfizer-sponsored symposium was chaired by Dr Ng Shin Yi, Head and Senior Consultant of Surgical Intensive Care, SGH.
Pearl Toh, 26 Nov 2020
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