Cupping is a muscle relaxation and release technique that utilizes light suction to improve mobility, blood flow, and fascial restriction. While cupping has been utilized for hundreds of years for pain relief, there are a variety of techniques that can benefit patients. At Southern Rehab, we use a sliding technique rather than the stagnant form that is typically seen in versions of Chinese therapy. The sliding technique allows us to address a wider area of the muscle and encourages relaxation as it is typically not a painful intervention and does not leave dark bruising.
Cupping can be used for trigger points, chronic muscle tightness, headaches, and overuse injuries including tendinitis or arthritis. It can decrease pain associated with overworked or tense muscle and surrounding fascia to allow increased ease in movement, encourage efficiency in performance during exercise, and decrease tenderness. It can also loosen scar tissue by creating a vacuum within the cup that decreases adhesions to surrounding tissues.
While cupping can be a beneficial treatment to decrease pain and increase muscle performance, it is most commonly used as an adjunct treatment with other myofascial release techniques and therapeutic exercise to encourage long-term relief. Your therapist can best determine whether or not you would benefit from cupping as a part of your therapy plan of care and can discuss this with you at any of your therapy appointments.
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