Is cupping therapy effective in patients with neck pain?

First attempt at managing neck pain is divided into two primary therapies: pharmacological and non-pharmacological. Pharmacological treatmentstypically will involve the management of symptoms with the use of acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).The downside to common pharmacological treatment is that long term use can lead to reduced liver function, liver failure and gastritis. Due to these risks, many people are opting for non-pharmacological treatments for pain management such as physical therapy and acupuncture. Both physical therapists and acupuncturists can perform a technique called dry cupping, which can be utilized as a pain reduction treatment forpeople suffering from neck pain. Cupping utilizes either a glass or plastic device that is placed over the painful area creating a negative pressure through suction. This negative pressure is believed to create a detoxifying process were waste and toxins are removed from the area restoring the balance of “vital energy’ or Qi (a traditional eastern medicinalterm).Cupping is effective to treat localized areas of inflammation by restoring hemodynamics and facilitating muscle function. Cupping has been shown in studies to significantly reduce pain, improve function and overall patient quality of life.Cupping is relatively low risk treatmenthowever,should not be performed on a patient with the following conditions: blood disorders and clotting problems, skin conditions and sensitivities, open wounds, use of blood thinners, on the lower back or abdomen of pregnant women. Citation: Kim S, Lee SH, Kim MR, Kim EJ, Hwang DS, Lee J, Shin JS, Ha IH, Lee YJ. Is cupping therapy effective in patients with neck pain? A systematic review and meta-analysis. 

 
 

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