What Is Cupping?​

Cupping is a treatment that was developed in Eastern medicine to help increase blood flow to an area of the body.  It has recently become a very popular tool in the physical therapy world as a manual therapy technique. 

Cupping is a form of manual therapy where a cup is placed on the skin, and the air is suctioned out of the cup to create a vacuum inside the cup.  This vacuum elevates the soft tissue into the cup to increase blood flow to an injured area to help in healing.  The vacuum also opens up the blood vessels in and under your skin, causing redness. 


Physical therapists use cupping to help patients who suffer from an injury that causes pain, inflammation, tightness, soft tissue restrictions, and scar adhesions.  The physical therapist will palpate the injured area for restrictions and pain and place a cup over this area.  The therapist will either leave the cup in place (static cupping) or move the cup over the surrounding area (dynamic cupping).  The treatment will last approximately 5-10 minutes, and the patient should feel relief of pain and tightness.  The redness left by the cup could last approximately 3-5 days. 

If you feel that cupping could help you after injury, please give us a call to make an appointment with a Sol provider. 


Written By:

  • Stephanie Popelka, PT, DPT
    Stephanie Popelka, PT, DPT
    Physical Therapist