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Case Study Review - Reviving an Ancient Therapy to Manage Chronic Pain

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Case Study Review - Reviving an Ancient Therapy to Manage Chronic Pain

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  • May 2005
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Title: Reviving an Ancient Therapy to Manage Chronic Pain
Reference: Podiatry Today, December 2003, pg. 46-53
Author: Nicholas A Grumbine, DPM
Rating: 4/5

Abstract

Objective: This article was written to increase people's awareness of leech therapy in healthcare to manage chronic pain. Case studies on were designed to determine whether leeching would improve chronic pain in a safe and effective manner.

Background: Chronic pain results when there is delayed healing. Grumbine claims that chronic pain ‘produces a fear in the patient and a panicked feeling that the pain will return or increase'.

Grumbine also explores other biological treatments like leech therapy, and the effects that medical leeches have on their patients. Usually, medications were used to control chronic pain, such as sleep medications and antidepressants. Now it has been observed that leeching prevents blood clotting and severe burning pain. The ingredients of leech saliva help stabilize cellular membranes and the overall well-being of the skin and body functions improve. As blood flow increases and improves circulation, the arteries, veins and capillaries dilate, and there is a reduction of oedema, shunting and congestion.

Study Design: Case studies were designed to determine whether leeching procedures would affect patients with chronic pain, and by what amounts. These were patients aged from 13 to 96 that were defiant to usual tradition procedures. Five case studies were made. The case studies were performed on two elderly patients; one diagnosed with RSD , and the other patient suffering from burnings, oedema and hyperesthesia. Three other patients were also treated; a 16-year-old adolescent also with RSD and a severe hypertrophic scar, as well as a patient with Berger's disease and a war veteran with ‘scrape metal wounds'.

Results: Preoperatively, patients' levels of pains were at an average of 8.6 out of 10. After leeching procedures, pains were significantly...

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