Hilal Akhtar, Mohammad Rashid, Misbahuddin Siddiqi and Qazi Zaid Ahmad
Gout is a potentially progressive and debilitating form of chronic inflammatory arthritis caused by the deposition of monosodium urate crystals in synovial fluid and other tissues, characterized by sudden & severe episode of pain, warmth and swelling in a joint. People suffering from recurrent attacks frequently experience pain and disability, reduced health-related quality of life and productivity and increased morbidity. NSAIDs, colchicines, glucocorticoids, uric acid lowering agent like uricostatic drugs (allopurinol, a xanthine oxidase inhibitor), Uricosuric drugs (Probenecid) are very effective but risky in patients having pre-existing renal, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and metabolic disorders. Cupping (Al-Hijama) is a widely used therapeutic regimen of Unani system of medicine with high acceptance in Egypt and Arab countries. It is used for the treatment of various inflammatory and painful conditions like sciatica, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, pain of knee, removal of deep swelling, disease of liver and skin etc. It is a minor surgical excretory procedure related scientifically to the principles of renal glomerular filtration and abscess evacuation where a pressure-dependent excretion of causative pathological substances occurs. Cupping is thought to act mainly by increasing local blood circulation and relieving the painful muscle tension. It acts by improving microcirculation, promoting capillary endothelial cell repair, accelerating granulation, and angiogenesis in the regional tissues. It is the best deep tissue massage which normalizes the patient’s functional state and progressive muscle relaxation. In Unani system of Medicine, this is a simple and economic treatment, effectively treating diseases with different etiologies and pathogenesis.