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Rio Olympics: Part 2

Are you watching the Olympics and seeing spots? Those tennis ballsized red circles on athletes, particularly Michael Phelps, are a result of a therapeutic technique called "cupping". This method dates back to ancient Greece (which is appropriate for the Olympics) and is also a common practice in Chinese medicine. According to an article published on APTA.org, there are two types of cupping, dry and wet. Both use a skin suctioning technique that is thought to cause dilation and even rupture of the capillaries underneath the skin. This in turn is thought to stimulate inhibitory neural pathways and create a "counter irritation" effect that my increase pressure pain thresholds. What does this all mean? To put it another way, remember when you were a kid, and you complained that your knee hurt, and then your dad step on your toes and asked if your knee still hurt? It's a similar theory with cupping. So if the Olympic athletes are doing it, it must work, right? Despite the long history of cupping therapy, there is a noted lack of published evidence supporting it as a treatment for musculoskeletal conditions. It is unclear what physiological or psychological effects it could have, and we need to be cautious that this doesn't become a magic bullet treatment for the general public. We at Alliance Physical Therapy ensure that you will be treated with the most recent, evidence-based practice, and that we'll uphold the value of rigorously investigated interventions in the face of the latest fade of sports medicine.

Yours in Health, Brittany

407 Black Hills 762-6564

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