Cupping can relieve knee pain

Cupping can relieve knee pain

Cupping can reduce knee pain, according to a scientific study

In a pilot study, scientists in Berlin examined whether pulsating cupping treatment could alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee. The result showed that cupping can relieve knee pain.

The cupping application in this study was carried out using a device from HeVaTec GmbH, which co-financed the study. It is the first study to examine cupping with a medical device. The apparatus pulsates a vacuum in the cupping heads. The cupping heads made of elastic plastic with a silicone rim were placed on the lower back for 10 minutes and on the knee joint for 5 minutes.

21 participants in the Schröpf group received an application twice a week for 4 weeks. After 4 and 12 weeks, pain, joint stiffness, mobility and quality of life were assessed. A control group (19 participants) remained without application. If necessary, the participants were allowed to take acetaminophen for pain treatment.

Overall, the number of participants was quite small, but very promising results could be achieved. The knee pain was significantly reduced in the Schröpf group. But also with regard to the assessment of stiffness, mobility and physical quality of life, the Schröpf group showed significant improvements after just 4 weeks.

The researchers point out that the pilot study does not allow a conclusive statement. The number of participants was too small and there was no blinding. However, the researchers report that the side effects of the cupping process in the study were very minor. Further investigations would therefore be desirable.

Cupping is a therapy method that is thousands of years old and creates a negative pressure on the skin. Cupping is used today mainly in naturopathic practices by naturopaths and osteopaths. The application is one of the leading procedures in alternative medicine. Source: Teut M et al. Pulsatile dry cupping in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee - a randomized controlled exploratory trial BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12: 184 (pm)

Image: Essenia Deva /

Author and source information

Video: Cupping Therapy. Physical Therapy. The Iowa Clinic (September 2020).