The search for demedicalization leads to an increasing use of integrative and complementary practices, to complement pain-related allopathic care.
Wet cupping therapy is one of the recommended therapies for chronic pain reduction. It involves the application of cups of different materials in an acupoint or area of pain by means of heat or vacuum apparatus.
The effect on pain reduction has not yet been fully elucidated, but different mechanisms of action, based on several assumptions, are attributed to cupping therapy, such as the metabolic, neuronal hypotheses.
Evidence of the efficacy of this intervention is limited because of the lack of high quality, well-delineated randomized controlled trials that result in validated and efficient protocols for the treatment of chronic back pain.
Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the literature evidence regarding the effects of wet cupping therapy on chronic back pain in adults compared to sham, active treatment, waiting list, standard medical treatment or no treatment.
Outcomes most commonly used to assess this condition, the protocol used to apply the intervention and subsequently investigate the effectiveness of wet cupping therapy on the intensity of chronic back pain.
To evaluate the evidence from the literature regarding the effects of cupping therapy on chronic back pain in adults, the most used outcomes to evaluate this condition, the protocol used to apply the intervention and to investigate the effectiveness of cupping therapy on the intensity of chronic back pain.
Systematic review and meta-analysis carried out by two independent researchers in national and international databases. Reference lists of systematic reviews were also explored. The quality of evidence was assessed according to the jadad scale.
Wet cupping therapy is a promising method for the treatment of chronic back pain in adults. There is the need to establish standardized application protocols for this intervention.