International Journal of Exercise Science 13(3): 216-224, 2020. Cupping therapy, a form of traditional Chinese medicine, has recently gained popularity as a therapeutic modality among sports medicine clinicians. While the use of cupping therapy to decrease musculoskeletal pain is supported by recent research findings, evaluations on the use of cupping therapy to influence range of motion (ROM) are limited. The purpose of the study was to identify if cupping therapy applied passively for 10 minutes increases flexibility compared to sham treatment or control conditions. Twenty-five participants with hamstring ROM less than 80° and no previous cupping therapy experience completed the study. Participants reported to the laboratory on three occasions for one of three randomly assigned treatment conditions (cupping, sham, or control) for 10 minutes while prone. Hamstring flexibility was evaluated three times (pre-treatment, post-treatment, and 10-minutes post-treatment) via ROM measured during an active straight leg raise. Participants returned on two other occasions to receive the remaining treatment conditions. A 3 (treatment condition) x 3 (time) repeated measures analysis of variance was utilized for statistical analysis. There was no interaction between condition and time (p= 0.78). Within-subjects effects for time (p= 0.76) was not significant. Post hoc pairwise comparison of treatment conditions found no differences between control and cupping (p= 0.36), cupping and sham (p= 0.35), or control and sham (p=0.98) conditions. Cupping therapy applied statically for 10 minutes does not increase hamstring flexibility compared to a sham treatment or control condition.
Schafer, Matthew; Tom, Jessica C.; Girouard, Tedd; Navalta, James W.; Turner, Catherine L.; and Radzak, Kara N.
"Cupping Therapy Does Not Influence Healthy Adult's Hamstring Range of Motion Compared to Control or Sham Conditions,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 13
3, Pages 216 - 224.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol13/iss3/4