Leech therapy for arthritis Arthritis is a very common disease found today but still is not well understood by people. Arthritis affects almost all the people of different ages, both sexes, and all races. It is the most common cause in the people for causing disability in the joints. There are more than a hundred types of arthritis are present with different causes. If the ration is seen between men and women then arthritis is more common among the women who get worse with the increasing age when the women are in menopause.
Arthritis is pain and swelling of the joint which can be seen in one or more than one joints.
If the pain and swelling are present in one joint then it is called acute inflammatory monoarthritis, if more two to four joints are affected than it is called oligoarthritis and if four or more joints are affected than it called as polyarthritis.
Factors which are taken into consideration while diagnosing arthritis
- Age and gender of the patient
- Joints involved
- Speed of onset
- Periarticular inflammation
- Features preceding the onset of pain
- Previous injury of joints
The patient with arthritis, joint pain, and stiffness of the joint get worsen with the increasing age. The most common arthritis present in the patient is gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
What are the types of arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing arthritis
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Septic arthritis
- Thumb arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Joint infections
- Viral arthritis
Many viral infections can cause arthralgia (joint pain without abnormal examination findings), and an acute symmetrical inflammatory polyarthritis affecting small and large joints of upper and lower limbs that is usually self-limiting within 6 weeks.
They include parvovirus, hepatitis B and C, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and infectious mononucleosis. The rapidity of onset of the symptoms with the presence of fever and the characteristic rash on the skin can suggest the diagnosis of the disease.
Polyarthritis that persists for more than 6 weeks is unlikely to be viral A definitive diagnosis may initially be difficult but often becomes clearer as characteristic features develop.
However, certain patterns are characteristic and may be present at or soon after presentation RA (rheumatoid arthritis) is by far the most common cause of chronic inflammatory, symmetrical polyarthritis affecting small and large joints of upper and lower limbs.
Tenosynovitis and bursitis are the main Periarticular manifestations. Marked asymmetry, lower limb predominance and greater involvement of large joints are all more characteristic of seronegative spondyloarthritis.
The systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) usually causes arthralgia and tenosynovitis rather than synovitis. Chronic polyarthritis due to gout is invariably preceded by a long history of acute attacks. Other causes of polyarthritis are rare.
Symptoms of arthritis
- Involvement of joints
- Pain and tenderness
- Restricted movement of joint
There is a relapse in the symptoms which means symptoms may come and go. These symptoms can be mild, moderate and severe depending upon the cause and duration of the disease. But with the progress of time, the disease symptoms get worse.
The changes are permanent which can be visible in the form of knobby finger joints. Some changes can be seen in x-rays.
With the progress of diseases, the organs of the body also get affected like heart, eyes, lungs, kidney, and skin.
Investigations to diagnose arthritis
For inflammatory polyarthritis which persists for less than six weeks investigations like FBC, liver function test, and viral serology are advised.
For early persistent polyarthritis of the indeterminate cause, the initial investigation should also include an ESR, CRP, anti-CCP, RF and anti-nuclear antibodies, and X-rays of hands and feet are advised.
Complications in arthritis
If the patient is suffering severe arthritis in joints of hands and feet’s than daily routine work is difficult to perform.
Long term suffering can produce severe pain with increased swelling and crepitation of joints present. The damage produced due to continuous friction of joints is permanent. The patient can have disorientation of joints in shape.
let’s see how arthritis can be treated with Leech therapy.
Almost all of the patients are prescribed with pain killers to reduce the pain and anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed for reducing the inflammation and swelling.
Leech therapy for arthritis
Leech therapy is often used by relieving the pain by its analgesic properties present in the saliva of the leech. But leech therapy is often used by many quacks without knowing the knowledge about the medical use of leeches for curing the diseases.
This leech practice has been used in reducing pain and inflammation since the traditional for reducing arthritis symptoms. Along with this leech therapy for arthritis also helps in preventing joint damage and even decreases the chances of replacement of joints.
It has been proved scientifically that these tiny parasite creatures’ help in relieving pain whose condition is worse.
Need for leech therapy for arthritis
In arthritis, the synovial fluid in the joints gets decreased which causes friction in between the bones. This friction causes inflammation, swelling and intense pain in the joint which becomes unbearable to the patients.
Leech therapy for arthritis treatment when given to the patient brings rapid relief in pain and inflammation when it is compared with the modern treatment of medicine. This relief of pain can be seen within 24 hours after taken the treatment which will remain for more than four weeks.
It has been seen that the relief is due to the compound bioactive substances present in the saliva of the leech which produces anti-inflammatory, anesthetic and pain reliever. Leech therapy also helps in vasodilatation which causes increases the blood flow and rushes the blood which contains the compounds which are responsible for causing pain and inflammation.
Along with this if leech therapy took with another treatment program like physiotherapy, exercise, relaxation techniques, and dietary changes, then the patient gets relief very quickly.
The procedure of leech therapy for arthritis
Before applying the leech on the affected knee joint, the knee joint is washed properly. Leeches that are used in the therapy should be placed in the turmeric water.
Now apply the leeches on the washed knee joint for its attachment. If the leech does not attach to the knee joint than a small prink is done on the skin by a sterilize needle so that a tiny drop of blood can come out which makes the leech to get attached easily.
These leeches are allowed to attach for more than one hour so that they can suck the blood. The leeches will grow in size about two to three times from its original size. The visible pulsation can be seen on the surface of the leeches.
Leeches after getting full will detach by itself or it should be removed delicately. Some of the blood oozing from the skin should be soaked with gauze. For natural healing, honey is applied to the bite area.
Benefits and side effects of leech therapy for arthritis
Here are the benefits and side effects of leech therapy for arthritis.
Leech therapy helps in the following conditions.
- To relieve the pain in the arthritis
- Also helps to reduce inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory property in leech saliva
- It also has an anesthetic effect.
- It helps to reduce the swelling in arthritis.
- Leech saliva contains histamine like substance which helps in vasodilation.
- Saliva also contains acetylcholine which also helps in vasodilation.
- Some patients may have severe bleeding which can cause anemia, weakness in the patient.
- If the patients are allergic to bioactive substances, there are chances of hypersensitive reactions which can make the condition worse.
- Scarring of the leech bite can be present.
- Superinfection at the site of the leech bites area.
Arthritis has now become the disabling disease of the joints. This disease not only affects the patient at a physical level but also affect patient at the mental level by decreasing the quality of life. Patients with arthritis become crippled if they are suffering from chronic arthritis and weight-bearing joints are especially affected like knee joint and hip joint.
The patient for getting relief from the pain adopts the modern medical treatment which includes NSAID’s which only reduces the pain and inflammation at that time. But soon the patient becomes resistant an also become habitual of taking it.
For these patient leeches therapy for arthritis has increased their quality of life by decreasing their pain, inflammation, and swelling of the joint without producing any such side effects. Their movement of joint has increased and no more friction of joints is presented.
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