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Why An Ancient Tool Is Great For Modern Day Back Pain



We all live a fast-paced life. Technology and innovation occur so rapidly that something new and better is created every 5 minutes. To keep up with our fast-paced lives, we want the fastest and most proven tools. The drawback is that not all that’s NEW is BETTER.


Muscle tightness is a problem for all modern day people at some point. We can Google just about anything and "cure" ourselves with a YouTube video in a few minutes. However, the defined benefit is unknown and hoping for the best leaves too much time wasted.


In 1550 BC, ancient Egyptians also had muscle tightness. Their lifestyle required constant motion. Sitting down was not common like it is today. Their bodies were used as tools for survival and progress. To cure muscle pain and get back to life, the ancient Egyptian text Ebers Papyrus ordered “cupping” treatments. The common belief was that tight muscles were “unlocked” by the cupping tools. Knowing this civilization created the Great Pyramids leads us to believe this was a successful treatment for aching bodies.


What is cupping then?


Cupping is applying a suction tool shaped like a cup directly onto the muscle. The suction created by the cup applies tension over a muscle that results in relaxation. The suction also creates pressure on blood vessels that cause them to expand and induce more blood flow. The blood flow to the newly relaxed muscle rejuvenates the tissues and results in tissue healing and recovery. The tool can be placed right over the muscle and left there for several minutes at a time. Or, for a larger surface area or more relaxation, the cup can be moved over an entire muscle or region of the body. The intervention is not painful and has very little restrictions for its utility. This treatment technique is timely and often provides instant relief from tight or sore muscles.


We commonly rely on cupping treatments to help relieve sore, painful back muscles. Since the back is such a broad area, it tends to respond well to this intervention. But, back pain isn’t the only condition we treat with cupping. We have used cupping to help people with plantar fasciitis, frozen shoulder, tendinitis, and many more conditions.


As it was in 1550, cupping therapy is a great modality to relieve painful, sore muscles in the body. At Tandem Physical Therapy, we have integrated cupping with significant relief to many patients. As with anything, it is a PART of your healing and not an end-all-be-all. If you are interested in knowing more about cupping and if this could help you, please call us at 504-407-3477.


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