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All About Myofascial Cupping for Back Pain

All About Myofascial Cupping for Back Pain

Back pain sidelines about 2% of the U.S. workforce every day. Remarkably, about 80-90% of people in the United States will have back pain at some point in their lives. If you count yourself among the 16 million adults who suffer from chronic back pain, you’re all too aware of how challenging it can be to get relief.

The prescription medicine rollercoaster is a frustrating one. By the time you land on something that works, relief is sometimes short-lived, and then you go through the seemingly never-ending task of trying one drug after another until you find what works for you. But what if you don’t want to go the prescription medicine route?

If you’re ready to consider a nonprescription, more natural approach, our highly skilled licensed massage therapists at Stamford Spine in Stamford, Connecticut, provide myofascial cupping as an excellent option.

Myofascial cupping vs. traditional cupping therapy

Chances are the first time you heard about cupping therapy was during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 when sportscasters and fans alike couldn’t stop talking about the strange marks on American swimmer Michael Phelps’ body. But what’s the difference between traditional cupping and myofascial cupping?

Both myofascial cupping and traditional cupping are therapies that share a common history in traditional Chinese medicine. The premise behind both therapies is that you can impact health and wellness by creating negative pressure using cups placed on the skin. A specially trained provider, such as a chiropractor, massage therapist, or acupuncturist, performs cupping therapy. That’s where the similarities end.

Myofascial cupping is a specialized type of cupping therapy that targets the banded connective tissue or fascia that encircles and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle in place. With myofascial cupping therapy, the aim is to lift the fascia and promote blood flow, triggering muscle relaxation, enhanced tissue mobility, and range of motion.

The focus of traditional cupping is on balancing the body's energy and addressing issues related to life force, or qi. The premise is that cupping therapy resets the natural balance within the body, known as yin and yang, by boosting the body’s resistance to pathogens and releasing toxins. 

Reduces pain and inflammation

A cupping session typically lasts between 15 minutes to about an hour or so. Like other types of therapy, such as massage and physical therapy, patients return for additional cupping sessions as needed. Since cupping therapy sets the body’s natural healing powers in, it also creates a best-case scenario for naturally reducing pain and inflammation, which is very good  for patients suffering from back pain.

Improves mobility and range of motion

If you suffer from back pain, you may be familiar with debilitating the pain, which can affect your mobility. The longer you’re inactive, the more it affects things like flexibility, balance, and range of motion.

Myofascial cupping therapy can help improve your range of motion by loosening tight muscles and relieving those knots in your muscles that create barriers to natural, healthy movement without discomfort.  

Works well with chiropractic care and massage therapy

Your provider may recommend myofascial cupping therapy as a standalone treatment option or as a complement to a treatment plan that combines a variety of treatments. Treatment plans that include myofascial cupping therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic care can tackle your pain, inflammation, and muscle tightness, providing much-needed relief.  

If you suffer from back pain and want to learn if myofascial cupping is right for you, contact us today. 

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