Q: Doctor what is cupping therapy and is it beneficial?

A: Cupping therapy is one of the oldest and most effective methods of releasing toxins from body tissue and organs. It is also known as vacuum cupping, hijama cupping, horn treatment, etc. It is a practice in which the therapist puts special cups on the skin to create suction. This causes the tissue beneath the cup to be drawn up and swell causing an increase in blood flow to the affected area. Enhanced blood flow under the cups draws impurities and toxins away from the nearby tissues and organs toward the surface for elimination. The techniques include dry cupping:

 The air inside a plastic or glass cup is suctioned or vacuumed out by placing the cup on the skin. In most cases, the cups can be used at rest or while moving. Cupping helps to reduce pain and inflammation, Improves blood flow. Used for relaxation, well-being, and deep tissue massage. It is a safe, non-invasive, and inexpensive treatment. Rejuvenation of body organs. Facilitates the healing process and strengthens the immune system. it is used to treat blood disorders such as anemia and hemophilia, rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, gynecological disorders, skin problems: eczema and acne, high blood pressure, migraines, anxiety, and depression and varicose veins. It also helps in improving metabolism in skin tissue, better functioning of sebaceous and sweat glands, improved healing, and improved skin resistance. Cupping is a low-risk therapy. The side effects will typically occur during your treatment or immediately after. Lightheadedness or dizziness, sweating or nausea may be experienced. After treatment, the skin around the rim of the cup may become irritated and marked in a circular pattern. There may be a risk of Infection after undergoing cupping therapy and it can be avoided if the practitioner follows the right methods for cleaning the skin and controlling infection before and after the session. Cupping helps to increase the blood flow to sore areas in muscles. It provides necessary nutrients to the area being treated and promotes healing. Cupping can provide pain relief and help ease the symptoms of many common disorders of the bones and muscles. It does this by exciting small nerves inside muscles so that they release pain-killing chemicals. Cupping Therapy can be very relaxing and help to reduce muscular restrictions, scars, and adhesions, to decrease swelling and increase range of motion.

Q: I am a 37-year-old female and have had pain at the base of my thumb for about two weeks. What could be the reason for it?

A: The condition needs proper assessment and diagnosis by a physical therapist. It seems that you have De Quervain's Tenosynovitis. It is a painful, inflammatory condition caused by tendons on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb. Pain, which is the main complaint, gets worse with the abduction of the thumb, a grasping action of the hand, and an ulnar deviation of the wrist. Thickening and swelling can also be present. The most common cause is chronic overuse. Activities such as golfing, playing the piano, fly fishing, carpentry, or activities by office workers and musicians can lead to chronic overuse injuries. The classic patient population is mothers of newborns who are repeatedly lifting their baby with their thumbs radially abducted and wrists going from ulnar to radial deviation. Repetitive gripping, grasping, or wringing of objects can cause inflammation of the tendons and tendon sheaths which narrows the first dorsal compartment limiting the motion of the tendons.

 If left untreated, the inflammation and progressive narrowing (stenosis) can lead to scarring that further limit thumb motion. The physical therapist utilizes various techniques and modalities to deal with the condition.