Myofascial Decompression, also known as Cupping or Cup Therapy, is the therapeutic application of cups to help treat musculoskeletal problems. The plastic, rubber, or glass cups produce suction, which creates negative pressure underneath the cup. The negative pressure helps to decompress the area by lifting the skin and the layer of tissue underneath the skin, known as fascia, up into the cup. This temporary increase in space allows the underlying tissues to relax, which reduces pain and improves function.
What are the benefits of Myofascial Decompression (Cupping)?
Myofascial Decompression can help treat a multitude of conditions and can be used to:
- Release and mobilize soft tissue restrictions
- Desensitize regions of pain and irritability
- Increase blood flow to aid in healing
- Reduce muscle spasm
- Increase soft tissue length and extensibility
- Improve nerve mobility
- Facilitate lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling
- Modulate pain through the release of endorphins
Why are there marks or bruising from cupping?
Although bruising can occur with Myofascial Decompression, it is not always necessary to bruise the tissue to produce favorable results. One of the many applications of cupping involves leaving the cups in one spot on the body for several minutes while moving the surrounding body parts. The bruises you sometimes see are likely the result of a small capillary rupture produced with this particular static cupping application. Although every individual body is different, most bruising subsides within 2-10 days following treatment. Be sure to discuss the cupping application options with your physical or occupational therapist if you are concerned about the possibility of visible bruising.
Learn more about Myofascial Decompression (Cupping)
- Find additional cupping information from the Cleveland Clinic here.
- Athletico’s Blog post on Cupping
- Journal Of Clinical Medicine’s Evidence Map of Cupping Therapy
Myofascial Decompression is typically part of a comprehensive physical or occupational therapy care plan. Therefore, you may need a physician’s prescription for treatment depending on your state. Your physical or occupational therapist will help determine if cupping is appropriate to incorporate into your overall treatment plan.
Request an appointment at an Athletico near you and ask about Myofascial Decompression (Cupping).