What is Cupping?
Cupping is a myofascial release technique that utilizes negative pressure to reduce pain, promote healing, increase blood flow, improve range of motion, decrease scar tissue. It has been used in medical practice for thousands of years.
Dry cupping, which the most utilized form of cupping and the type performed by Physical Therapy Innovations’ Physical Therapists, involves the use of silicone, plastic, or glass cups of various sizes. These cups are placed on the target areas and the air within the cup is removed.
What is Cupping Used For?
Cupping can be a treatment method for many musculoskeletal conditions including, but not limited to:
- Pre- or Post- Surgery
- Acute Injuries
- Chronic Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Tennis and Golf Elbow
- Trigger Points
- TMJ Pain or Dysfunction
FAQs about Cupping
What does it feel like?
You will feel a moderate amount of pressure at the cup location; however, cupping should not be painful. Your physical therapist can make adjustments to the pressure, so you should let them know how it feels.
What should I expect during cupping therapy?
During treatment, a single cup or multiple cups may be applied at one time, with the therapist keeping the cup in place for a period of up to 3-10 minutes. The therapist may move the cups along the length of affected tissue to achieve a release, or have you move the affected area with the cups applied.
What are the marks left after cupping treatment?
After cupping, the notorious circular marks caused by the bursting of capillaries and the release of toxins which may appear on your skin. These bruise-like discolorations do not hurt and typically heal on their own within a few days.
How will I feel after cupping is performed?
Most people will feel immediate pain relief and improved flexibility. Your activities are not restricted following cupping treatments.
Does cupping alone help?
Best clinical outcomes are achieved when cupping is used in conjunction with other physical therapy interventions, such as therapeutic exercise for strengthening and flexibility.
Learn More About Cupping
For most patients, cupping is safe to try and could complement an existing treatment plan. Although dry cupping is considered safe, it should only be performed by a well-trained physical therapist or medical practitioner.
Our physical therapists at PTI use cupping with their patients as a tool in combination with other manual techniques and therapeutic exercise to elicit lasting changes and improve overall functional ability and decrease pain.
If you are interested in trying cupping, please call our office to schedule an appointment!