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Cupping may ease short-term pain, disability

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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
4 days ago
Ivermectin confers benefits in the treatment of COVID-19, with a recent study showing that its use helps reduce the risk of death especially in patients with severe pulmonary involvement.
3 days ago
Mental health comorbidities are common among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and may lead to worse outcomes, a recent study has found.
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Diabetes is a key risk factor for heart failure (HF), which is the leading cause of hospitalization in patients with or without diabetes. SGLT-2* inhibitors (SGLT-2is) have been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization for HF (HHF) regardless of the presence or absence of diabetes.

Tristan Manalac, 18 Nov 2020
The substitution of isoleucine to leucine at amino acid 97 (I97L) in the core region of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) seems to reduce its potency, decreasing the efficiency of both infection and the synthesis of the virus’ covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA, reports a new study presented at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD 2020).