What is CUPPING THERAPY?? AKA Myofascial Decompression technique....?

Cupping techniques were originally developed thousands of years ago and have been most popularly utilized as a traditional Chinese medicine treatment.  Cupping therapy has been used over the years to mobilize blood flow in order to promote healing.  Traditionally, the use of cupping assisted to reduce stagnation of qi along channels.  In recent year the use of this ancient healing art has gained interest of celebrities, healthcare practitioners and every day people seeking safe treatment for pain.  


Current terminology for cupping is Myofascial Decompression Therapy.  Much like it sounds, the cups are used to decompress soft tissues (muscle, tendon, ligaments and fascia) of the body.  Fascia is dense connective tissue made up of collagen fibers. Fascia surrounds muscles, nerves and vessels as well as organs.  Basically, its the tough stuff that keeps everything where it's supposed to be and allows us to move without displacing our spleens and livers and such.  


Lets talk about the fascial connection as it pertains to the musculoskeletal system.  Muscles are surrounded by and interact with one another with the assistance of the fascia.  When there is injury, either chronic or traumatic, the fascia is also affected, not just the muscles, ligaments and tendons.  If the network of fascial planes is disrupted due to scar tissue adhesions (sometimes referred to as knots), restrictions in function and mobility will result.  When you don't move well, your body suffers.  Faulty biomechanics (the way the body moves) can lead to pain and altered function which can dramatically affect the way you perform activities every day and keep you from doing the things you love.  

Why does all of this matter? Because, when the body moves with altered function, joint surfaces can wear unevenly, which can not only be painful, but may progress to joint damage and arthritis.  

Functional problems are easier to address than structural problems.  Soft tissues are more pliable and reactive to change than bony/joint structures.  Fix the muscular imbalances, improve joint mobility and strengthen what has become weak and you may avoid painful long term damage!

Cupping/Myofascial Decompression is one of the treatment options offered in Dr. Pierce's chiropractic and acupuncture practice.  Dr. Pierce believes that long term benefit from chiropractic care and/or acupuncture therapy requires a well-rounded approach.  Release restrictions in the muscle and fascia, restore joint mobility with the adjustment and joint mobilization and re-educate weak muscles to do their job and you will have greater results and learn how to prevent re injury! 

Release. Restore. Re-educate!  

Effective Treatment for Lateral Epicondylitis AKA Tennis Elbow!

Have you ever experienced soreness and pain on the outside of your elbow after playing tennis or other sports?  Maybe after a workout or after working long days at the office?  You may be suffering with Tennis Elbow.  Interestingly enough, you don't have to play tennis to have this affliction. So, what exactly is tennis elbow, and what can you do about it?

In tennis elbow, technically known as lateral epicondylitis, the tendons which attach the muscles on the top of your forearm to your elbow at the lateral epicondyle (a bump on your humerus bone at the site near where your elbow bends) experience microscopic tears which cause irritation and inflammation, which leads to pain.  These tiny tears are often the result of overuse and sporting activities.  So, what can you do about it???
You have a variety of options to use to treat this condition.  You may choose to rest and ice the area, which will help reduce inflammation.  You may also choose to consult your physician who may suggest medications, which as you know come with risks.  There are braces that can be used to reduce the load placed on the tendon attachment so you can perform activities with less pain, OR you may seek out the aid of a chiropractor, therapist and/or acupuncturist. 

A chiropractor or therapist will usually perform muscle therapy including stretching and massage of the muscles around the elbow as well as give you exercises and make recommendations to help you avoid re-injury.  A chiropractor will also likely adjust your spine and possibly the joints of the elbow and wrist.  

Acupuncture has been shown to be superior to placebo for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis, resulting in reduced pain and increased function. Acupuncture treatment will include using acupuncture points in the area of pain as well as additional regional and distant points to aid the healing of the damaged tissue.  

At our office, chiropractic, acupuncture and exercise therapy are all a part of the healing process we practice for tennis elbow and many other conditions.  

To read more about Acupuncture for the treatment of Tennis Elbow see this Journal Article

For a consultation or other questions Ask the Doctor