Cupping Therapy Eases Carpal Tunnel Syndrome PainCupping Therapy Eases Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain

June 22, 2009

A new study shows that the traditional cupping technique, an external suction technique, is effective in offering short-term relief for carpal tunnel syndrome pain.

A new study published in the June 2009 issue of the Journal of Pain, the official journal of the American Pain Society, shows that the traditional cupping technique, an external suction technique, is effective in offering short-term relief for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) pain.

The study, conducted at the Immanuel Hospital Berlin in Germany, included 52 outpatient participants randomly assigned to two groups. The control group received a “single local application of heat within the region overlying the trapezius muscle.” The intervention group received a single application of wet cupping, which consisted of cupping glasses being applied to “the skin overlaying the trapezius muscle following 5 to 10 skin punctures.” The technique is meant to create a partial vacuum by “electromechanical or manual suction within the cupping glass after it is applied to the skin... Cupping is applied to defined zones of the shoulder triangle which are connective tissue zones at the shoulder-neck region. The technique is believed to increase microcirculation to help relieve [carpal tunnel syndrome] symptoms.”

A follow up was conducted with the participants on the seventh day after treatment. “The primary outcome, severity of CTS symptoms (VAS), was reduced from 61.5 ± 20.5 to 24.6 ± 22.7mm at day 7 in the cupping group and from 67.1 ± 20.2 to 51.7 ± 23.9mm in the control group.”

Researchers concluded that the treatment was both safe and well tolerated in the intervention group, and that “cupping therapy may be effective in relieving the pain and other symptoms related to CTS.”

To access the full study, please click here.