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How cupping and dry needling speeds muscle recovery in athletes

There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to continue to do the sports and activities you love because of an injury. That’s why many athletes, including Olympians, are turning to dry needling and cupping as alternative methods to relieve muscle pain and soreness.

All About Dry Needling

A tool used to help reduce muscle tension and nerve irritation, dry needling involves the insertion of fine needles directly into the muscle to target a compressed nerve root, thus stimulating healing.

During a session, most patients can immediately feel the improvement of their muscle pain. Helping to promote blood flow to specific areas of your body, it can improve muscle extensibility and contractibility, signalling your body to release its own pain reduction factors. You’ll notice:

  • Relief from pain and muscle tightness

  • Improved range of motion

  • Improved recovery speed

How Cupping Can Help

Cupping is a manual therapy technique in which small cups are carefully placed on injured areas of the body for several minutes at a time. These cups create suction, causing the tissue beneath the cup to be drawn up and swell, increasing blood flow to the affected area.

By lifting and stretching the fascia, cupping may help to stimulate the chemical breakdown of toxins that delay muscle and tissue healing—this process reduces inflammation and can help facilitate normalized movement.

Many top Olympic athletes utilize cupping therapy for recovery, pain relief, and to boost performance. Myofascial cupping temporarily exaggerates the condition so as to kick-start the physiologic changes necessary to reset the injured tissue. Reducing pain and pain tolerance in athletes, cupping is often best paired with the Graston Technique for a well-rounded course of therapy.

While reactive measures are important, preventing injuries is key. Our physiotherapists can help to create a routine for you that minimizes injury risk when you’re out doing the sports and activities you love. Reach out to book an appointment with our team today.


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