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What Is Therapeutic Cupping?


Therapeutic cupping is one of the treatments available for Summit County patients at Vail-Summit Physical Therapy.


Our active community wants to know, “What is physical therapy cupping?” The purpose of physical therapy cupping is to restore movement, reduce pain, and improve the patient’s quality of life. Our therapeutic cupping specialists are trained to evaluate and utilize physical therapy cupping for musculoskeletal issues that stem from:

  • Injury

  • Disability

  • Illness

  • Surgery

  • Disease

Physical Therapy Cupping Treatment Plan


Our highly trained physical therapists work with patients to develop a physical therapy cupping treatment plan that can include the use of therapeutic suction cups to achieve health goals. Physical therapy cupping is indicated for a wide range of goals, including:

  • Promote healing

  • Relieve sore muscles

  • Increase blood supply

  • Eliminate fluid and toxins

Therapeutic suction cups improve conditions such as:

  • Neck/back pain

  • Knee arthritis

  • Migraines

  • Acne, hives, skin diseases

  • High cholesterol

  • Decreased immunity

When therapeutic suction cups are part of treatment, patients report satisfaction with the physical therapy experience. Examples of areas treated with physical therapy cupping are back pain and knee pain.


Back Pain


Back pain can decrease with therapeutic cupping. Therapeutic suction cups can be placed on areas of pain, stiffness, and injury. Goals from pain relief to improved function are identified. 2 to 12 therapeutic suction cups can be applied asymmetrically at the spine. Negative pressure is set. There is an immediate blood flow response to the treated area, bringing the benefits of platelet-rich flow to the injured zone. The therapist may manipulate the cups, sliding them along the length of the spine, extending the therapeutic benefits. Patients report immediate relief and sustained benefit of increased motion.


Knee Pain


For patients experiencing knee pain, physical therapy cupping is an excellent treatment to reduce fluid buildup and swelling in the knee. From post-surgery to chronic osteoarthritis or minor injuries that contribute to swelling, stiffness, and pain – therapeutic cupping can provide relief.


Therapeutic suction cups are applied with the requisite force to generate negative pressure around the knee. Patients typically require 8-9 cups per knee. The session will last about 15 minutes. After the cups are removed, effleurage massage will be gently applied to the area to assist with fluid reduction. Patients report immediate pain relief equal to a dose of pain medication. The benefit is sustained over time due to decreased swelling and increased range of motion.


Therapeutic Cupping Near Me


Our highly trained providers at Vail-Summit Physical Therapy are available to work with patients to include cupping therapy as a component of their physical therapy treatment plan. Contact Vail-Summit Physical Therapy today!

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