Cupping is a treatment style we deliver to our patients here at On the Mend Physical Therapy for helping to reduce pain, improve your mobility, and increase your alignment to start your body’s natural healing process.

Cupping—a.k.a. cup therapy or myofascial decompression (MFD)—is a therapeutic technique based on an ancient alternative medicine treatment. The modern form of this technique involves the use of small, flexible cups—usually made of silicone—and a suction pump. The cups are placed directly on the skin, and the therapist uses the pump to create a vacuum.

The suction decreases tissue restrictions between the layers of skin, fascia, and muscle, thereby reducing pain, improving mobility and range of motion, and increasing alignment. The inflammatory response triggered by cupping helps stimulate the body’s natural healing process, which can help reduce pain and enhance muscle recovery and performance.

Popular among athletes—and made famous by Olympic swimmers—cupping is typically more effective when administered as part of a comprehensive therapy plan of care that includes manual therapy, prescribed exercise, stretching, and other treatments that improve overall musculoskeletal strength and mobility.

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