Cupping Therapy for Phoenix Marathon Runners


As you’re training for the upcoming Mesa-PHX Marathon, you may develop overuse injuries, which are common for long-distance runners. These injuries can occur from muscle imbalances, increasing your training volume too quickly, and lack of stretching appropriately. Common overuse injuries from running include IT band syndrome, patellofemoral knee pain, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. One treatment physical therapists use to help you recover from overuse injuries, so that you stay on track for your marathon training program is cupping.

Cupping is an ancient practice that has been used in multiple settings to improve well-being. The process involves placing suction cups on the skin for several minutes. The cup sizes, cupping time, and movement of the cups can be manipulated in multiple different ways by physical therapist to address pain management, blood flow, muscle relaxation, and myofascial mobility.

The physical therapist will apply lotion on the target tissue and place a suction cup on it. The vacuum effect, in most cases, is created by a hand pump. The vacuum created in the cup draws blood flow to this target area for several minutes. After several minutes of cup manipulation, the cup is then removed by the physical therapist. By bringing blood flow to the area being cupped, it sends oxygen and nutrients to the area to promote tissue extensibility and relaxation. If you and your physical therapist decide that cupping is for you expect to have mild bruising after sessions. Bruising is expected to go away after several days but the long-term benefits make the short-term bruises well worth it.

If you’re interested in adding cupping to your marathon routine, contact any of our 22 Arizona locations today to set up an appointment. We understand what it takes to train for a marathon, and we’ll do our best to safely get you to the finish line.

Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy is a proud sponsor of the 2018 Mesa-PHX Marathon. We’ll be set up the day of the marathon in the Runner Recovery tents to help ease any aches and pains after the race.


Ted Carter

PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, Cert. TDN Ahwatukee Location