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Cupping, Scraping, and Taping

Cupping, Scraping, and Taping

July 4, 2021

Are you training for a 5K, a marathon, or an upcoming summer sports season? Have you seen Olympic and professional athletes with cupping circles or kinesiology tape on them, and wondered if that kind of support could help you? Make an appointment with a physical therapist, and let us help you optimize your performance and meet your training goals.

Increasing your training rapidly can lead to delayed onset muscle soreness, fatigue, tendinitis, and strains and sprains. An imbalance in one of your joints or how you move can lead to compensations and injury.

At a physical therapy evaluation, we will assess your strength, range of motion, and biomechanics of movement. Your physical therapist will use highly skilled manual therapy techniques to treat any soft tissue or system imbalances, and will prescribe you exercises and stretching for muscle imbalances.

Treatment of sports injuries and performance enhancement with manual therapy may include “Cupping, Scraping, and Taping.”

Cupping – Physical Therapy

Cupping is a manual therapy technique where the practitioner uses silicone, plastic, or glass cups to create suction over an area of soft tissue dysfunction. That suction effect can break up scar tissue adhesions, increase circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid, pull lactic acid and waste products out of tissue, and stimulate tissue healing, recovery, and function.

Cupping can be applied statically, where the cups are left in place in one spot for a few minutes, or actively, sliding the cup along the length of a muscle to improve healing and function to an entire muscle. Cupping may leave red marks on the skin as a natural reaction to treatment.

Scraping – Physical Therapy

You might have heard of Gua Sha, Graston Technique®, Hawk Grips®, or other brand names of tools for muscle scraping. Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Massage (IASTM) uses medical grade stainless steel tools to detect and treat changes in soft tissues, such as scar tissue, adhesions, and fascial restrictions.

Your skilled physical therapist will use the scraping tool to treat the stressed muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Scraping improves circulation, speeds recovery, and restores optimal tissue length and function. Scraping may leave red marks or bruising on the skin as a natural reaction to treatment.

Taping – Physical Therapy

Kinesiology tape, or kinesiotape, is a special kind of athletic tape that has unique stretching properties. This stretch, when applied to skin, creates tension, stretch, and pull through the tissue fibers. When applied by a skilled physical therapist, kinesiology tape can support a joint, improve lymphatic drainage and reduce swelling, increase circulation and blood flow, decrease delayed onset muscle soreness, facilitate proprioception and muscle function, and reduce fatigue.

At Carlson ProCare, we use the gold standard of kinesiology tape: KT Tape®, used by professional athletes around the World. KT Tape is latex free and hypoallergenic, and stays in place for multiple days through humidity, sweating, and showering.

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Cupping, Scraping, and Taping could help you recover and improve your performance. Call Carlson ProCare today to schedule your appointment with a physical therapist for Cupping, Scraping, and Taping.

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