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Hirudo Therapy and Science II

Medical leeches are back because everything sucks

Medical leeches are back because everything sucks

Editor's Note: The video of leeches used in surgery is a bit bloody — especially after the 2-minute mark.

Leeches get a bad rap — but they might not deserve it.

Yes, they're creepy crawly blood-suckers. And they can instill an almost primal sense of disgust and revulsion. Humphrey Bogart's character in the 1951 film The African Queen even went so far as to call them "filthy little devils."

But the humble leech is making a comeback. This critter is increasingly playing a key role as a sidekick for scientists and doctors, simply by being its bloodthirsty self.


Leech therapy: help with osteoarthritis, back pain and high blood pressure

Leech therapy: help with osteoarthritis, back pain and high blood pressure

Leech therapy: help with osteoarthritis, back pain and high blood pressure

Leech therapy - sounds disgusting, but can work wonders - especially in pain. The use of small bloodsuckers is now medically recognized for chronic pain in the lower back and for osteoarthritis. The leech saliva contains many health-promoting substances, which in combination can alleviate various diseases. Not only naturopaths swear by this age-old naturopathic treatment, but also more and more conventional medicine.

What is leech therapy?

In leech therapy, several medicinal leeches are placed on the skin of a person for healing purposes, where they have pain or other...


Scientific studies into treatment of gonarthrosis with Hirudo Medicinalis

Scientific studies into treatment of gonarthrosis with Hirudo Medicinalis

 

Treatment of gonarthrosis with Hirudo Medicinalis (medical leech): How does the therapy affect the sensation of pain and the mechanical touch threshold?

 

Background:

Gonarthrosis is one of the most common chronic diseases in the western world. The prevalence is over 10% among those over 55; a quarter of these are severely affected (Peat et al. 2001). The recommended therapy for gonarthrosis consists of a combination of non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapy options (Jordan et al. 2003). The group of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) is used most frequently. However, side effects can occur especially in long-term therapy (Seed et al....