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The Effect of 5 Times Dry Cupping in the Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain (TS)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Universität Duisburg-Essen Identifier:
First received: January 31, 2011
Last updated: August 18, 2011
Last verified: July 2009
The study aims to investigate the influence of 5 dry cupping treatments on chronic non specific neck pain. 50 patients with neck pain are randomised into cupping treatment and waiting list control group at T0 (Day 0). At T1 (Day 7)the investigators evaluate the neck pain (VAS), the neck related disability (NDI), pain related to movement (PRTM) and the quality of life (SF36). To investigate neurophysiological effects of cupping we also measure mechanical detection threshold (MDT), vibration detection threshold (VDT) and pressure pain threshold (PPT) at pain related and control areas. The treatment group then receives 5 cupping treatments over a period of two weeks. After the cupping series resp. a waiting period for the waiting list control group (T2, Day 25) all measurements from T1 are repeated (VAS, NDI, PRTM, SF36, MDT, PPT, VDT). At last, a pain and medication diary is filled in by the patients from T0(Day 0) until T2 (Day 25). The investigators hypothesize, that cupping treatment is effective against neck pain (diary, VAS, NDI, PRTM, SF36) and that it leads to changes on perceptual level (MDT, VDT, PPT), when compared to the waiting list control group.

Condition Intervention
Neck Pain Neck Pain Musculoskeletal Mechanical/Motor Problems With Neck and Trunk Procedure: Dry Cupping or fire cupping

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Randomised Controlled Pilot Study: the Effect of Dry Cupping on Pain and Sensory Thresholds in the Treatment of Chronic Non Specific Neck Pain

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Universität Duisburg-Essen:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Pain intensity [ Time Frame: at T2 (Day 25) ]
    100mm Visual Analogue Scale

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • pain related to movement [ Time Frame: at T2 (Day 25) ]
    100mm Visual Analogue Scale for 6 movement directions (Irnich, BMJ 2001)

  • pain diary [ Time Frame: from T0 (Day 0) to T2 (Day25) ]
    Daily rating of pain intensity (numeric rating scale from 0-10)

  • Neck disability index [ Time Frame: at T2 (Day 25) ]
    NDI measures neck pain complaints (Vernon und Mior 1991)

  • Quality of Life SF-36 [ Time Frame: at T2 (Day 25) ]
    the sf-36 is a short form health survey consisting of 8 scales to measure functional health and wellbeing (Bullinger & Kirchberger 1998)

  • mechanical detection threshold MDT [ Time Frame: at T2 (Day 25) ]
    by von Frey filaments to measure perception threshold for light touch (Rolke, Pain, 2006)

  • vibration detection threshold VDT [ Time Frame: at T2 (Day 25) ]
    with a tuning fork to measure perception threshold for vibration (Rolke, Pain, 2006)

  • pressure pain threshold PPT [ Time Frame: at T2 (Day 25) ]
    with a pressure gauge algometer to determine threshold for painful pressure (Rolke, Pain, 2006) on the area of maximal neck pain, the adjacent and hand and foot

  • Side effects [ Time Frame: from T1 (Day 7) to T2 (Day 25) ]
    open question on any side effects or other experiences with the treatment

  • Medication diary [ Time Frame: From T0 (Day 0) to T2 (Day 25) ]
    patient report used medication during the study period (amount, dose)

Enrollment: 50
Study Start Date: July 2009
Study Completion Date: December 2009
Primary Completion Date: December 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
No Intervention: Waiting list control group
No treatment within the study period, were allowed to continue physiotherapy and medication. Were offered the treatment after finishing the study
Active Comparator: Treatment group
Received the 5 cupping treatments, application twice a week, non standardised application - individual determinations of trigger points
Procedure: Dry Cupping or fire cupping
5 dry cupping treatments, application twice a week, non standardised procedure
Other Name: Cupping is: heating glas cups to create a vacuum on the skin

Detailed Description:
see above

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • age between 18 and 75
  • permanent neck pain for at least three months in a row
  • a minimum of 40mm of neck pain on a 100mm visual analogue scale (VAS)
  • having been in treatment to an orthopaedic or to a neurologist

Exclusion Criteria:

  • neck pain caused by trauma, inflammatory or malignant disease, by congenital malformation of the spine or if pain was accompanied by radicular symptoms such as radiating pain, paresis, prickling or tingling.
  • invasive treatments within the last 4 weeks, surgery to the spine within the last year, corticosteroid or opioid treatment.
  • serious acute or chronic organic disease such as diabetes or cancer, mental disorders, pregnancy, and haemorrhagic tendency or anticoagulation treatment.
  • non steroidal pain medication and physiotherapy were allowed if the treatment regimen was not altered for four weeks before and continued during the study.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01289964

Essen, NRW, Germany, 45276
Sponsors and Collaborators
Universität Duisburg-Essen
Principal Investigator: Gustav J Dobos, Prof. MD University of Duisburg-Essen, Chair of Complementary and Integrative Medicine
  More Information

Responsible Party: Gustav Dobos, University of Duisburg-Essen, Chair of Complementary and Integrative Medicine Identifier: NCT01289964     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: DryCupping2009
Study First Received: January 31, 2011
Last Updated: August 18, 2011

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Neck Pain
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on September 21, 2017