p-ISSN: 1300-0551
e-ISSN: 2587-1498

Soner Akkurt1,2

1Department of Sports Medicine, School of Medicine, Erciyes University, Kayseri Turkey
2High Altitude and Sports Sciences Research and Implementation Center, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey.

Keywords: Cupping therapy, athletes, muscle strength, fatigue, pain


Recently, the interest in traditional and complementary medicine applications (TCM) are increasing among the athletes. One of the most widely used TCM applications is the cupping therapy. Although there are many forms of application, currently the most frequent practices are dry cupping and wet cupping (hijamah). The mechanism of action of cupping application has still not been fully proven. However, it is claimed that they may be reduced pain, sedation, increased regeneration, detox and improved immune system. Since particularly champion athletes prefer the practice, the question of whether this practice is related to performance comes to the mind. The number of randomized controlled studies related to the effects of cupping therapy in athletes is limited. It is usually claimed that it reduces back and neck pain. Evidence of effects on flexibility and sports injuries is controversial. It is suggested that it reduces fatigue and increases quality of sleep, and antioxidant capacity. There is not enough evidence about the direct effects of cupping therapy on performance. However, it is claimed that it can increase performance by reducing pain and fatigue. More controlled studies are needed about the effects of cupping therapy on the athletes.

Cite this article as: Akkurt S. Scientific overvıew of cupping applications in athletes. Turk J Sports Med. 2020;55(4):332-8.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to authorship and/or publication of the article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or publication of this article.