Therapist cupping the peroneal muscles.

Cupping is a therapeutic technique that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It gained popularity in recent years to improve sports recovery in athletes and to alleviate myofascial pain in the general population.

What is Cupping?

It is a form of manual therapy that involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. Physical therapists use a technique called dry cupping, which involves plastic cups with manual pumps that create air suction.

How Does It Work?

Cupping offers several benefits that can ease pain and aid in recovery:

  1. Improved Blood Circulation: The cups create suction, which helps increase blood flow to the muscles and tissues being treated. Improved blood circulation can promote the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscles and remove waste products like lactic acid. All this helps reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery.
  2. Muscle Tension Relief: The cups’ suction helps release muscle tension and restrictions. This can be particularly beneficial for active individuals who experience tight muscles due to their training routines, for those who sit for long periods of time and for those who perform repetitive movements for work.
  3. Pain Relief: Research shows that cupping can help alleviate pain by triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. It can also reduce inflammation and promote healing in injured tissues.
  4. Fascial Release: The technique targets fascial restrictions. These restrictions are connective tissue adhesions that can limit range of motion and cause discomfort. By lifting and separating the layers of fascia, cupping helps your body tissues move better, improving flexibility and mobility.

When Should You Consider Cupping?

It is useful as part of your recovery regime in the following situations:

  1. Injury Rehabilitation: Cupping complements other therapies, such as joint mobilization and therapeutic exercise, when individuals are recovering from injuries. It aids in pain relief and promote healing in injured tissues.
  2. Muscle Recovery: After intense workouts or competitions, cupping helps alleviate muscle soreness and speed up recovery. This allows individuals to get back to training more quickly.
  3. Maintenance: Some people use cupping regularly as a preventive measure to maintain muscle health, reduce the risk of injuries, and improve overall athletic performance.

Important Considerations: Cupping can be a valuable tool in rehabilitation and recovery. It helps individuals manage muscle soreness, improve circulation, and promote overall well-being. However, it may not be suitable for everyone. At Perform & Restore Physical Therapy, we perform a comprehensive evaluation at each session and choose the best treatment method to fit our clients’ needs. If you are interested in trying it, please contact us for further information or to schedule your session.

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