Cupping & Joint Pain

Cupping & Joint Pain

cupping joint pain, cupping arthritis, cupping arthritic, cupping pain, cupping, cupping therapy, cupping massage, chinese cupping, cupping set

Cupping for arthritic and joint pain

Cupping is an alternative, therapeutic treatment that has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of health conditions. This ancient therapy is a key component of Chinese, Korean, Tibetan and Unani traditional medical systems. More recently, it has gained popularity in the West as a complementary treatment for a variety of medical issues, and is especially effective as a therapeutic treatment for pain. 

Various injuries and illnesses have chronic painful symptoms which can restrict mobility and lessen quality of life for patients. This is especially true of arthritis and other conditions that cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Pharmacological management, while effective, can also have undesirable side effects, such as addiction. Therefore, there is a high demand for complementary treatments that lessen patient dependency on painkillers. Cupping Warehouse provides not only Professional Cupping Cups in Hospitals, Clinics, Outpatient Rehabs and other locations for Professional Cupping Treatments, we also offer Personal Self Care Cupping Cups for patients and individuals to use as DIY Home Treatments.  

Cupping may be beneficial for combatting the symptoms of pain associated with arthritis, but what are the mechanisms behind this effect? 

What type of cupping therapy is used to address arthritic and joint pain?

The type of cupping treatment used to address joint pain varies, depending on the specific cause of the pain. 

Dry cupping (where cups are used to apply suction to specific sites on the skin) is used to put lift the skin and stimulate the underlying tissues and acupressure points. This method has been found effective in reducing the pain and swelling of joints associated with osteoarthritis.

Alternatively, wet cupping therapy may be used. During a wet cupping treatment, small incisions are made in the skin before suction is applied, so that blood is drawn into the cup. This is thought to facilitate the release toxins and other harmful substances from the blood and surrounding tissues, and can be an effective therapeutic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Joint Pain Cupping Treatments typically will use either Plastic, Polycarbonate Pump Gun Cupping Cups, Silicone Cups or Continuous and Intermittent Vacuum Cups.


Why use cupping therapy to manage arthritic and joint pain?

Cupping therapy is rapidly gaining popularity in the West as an alternative therapeutic treatment for a variety of medical issues. Due to its effectiveness in relieving pain, it may be used as a complementary treatment for conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Cupping therapy can reduce painful symptoms without inducing any significant side effects; therefore, it can lessen the patient’s dependence on pharmacological treatment methods. Pharmaceutical pain relief, while effective, can also cause a host of side effects and may lead to addiction, so reducing use of these medications can help to improve the patient’s overall quality of life.

How does cupping help arthritic and joint pain?

Several scientific studies have concluded that cupping therapy can effectively relieve joint pain and swelling in patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gouty arthritis.


Osteoarthritis is a condition affecting the collagen of the joints. It is the most common joint disorder and causes pain and inflammation; symptoms that may be effectively managed by cupping therapy. 

In one clinical trial, a total of 11 dry cupping treatments performed over a period of 15 days was found to effectively reduce the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. At the end of treatment, patients reported an improvement in pain, tenderness, swelling, morning stiffness and overall mobility.

Pulsatile dry cupping (a modern variation of dry cupping in which a mechanical cupping device is used to create a pulsatile vacuum) has also been shown to reduce pain and stiffness in people with knee osteoarthritis. This effect was observed after a total of 8 sessions of cupping therapy performed over a period of 4 weeks.

The exact mechanisms behind this effect are poorly understood; however, cupping therapy is thought to improve blood circulation at the site of treatment and stimulate the immune response, ultimately with anti-inflammatory effects.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the joints. This can cause severe pain, stiffness, swelling and decreased range of motion around the affected joints.

Wet cupping therapy (in which bloodletting is performed) is a promising alternative treatment for the condition, as several studies have shown. One clinical trial found that, when performed over a period of one month, wet cupping therapy significantly improved the clinical condition of patients with RA. Further studies have found that wet cupping therapy effectively minimized joint pain in RA patients with no significant side effects. 

This could be because wet cupping therapy reduces the number of causative pathological substances (CPS) in the serum of targeted areas. CPS are substances that either cause or result from autoimmune diseases and people with autoimmune conditions usually have high levels of them. CPS (which include autoimmune antibodies, immune complexes, inflammatory mediators and cytokines) play a key role in the mechanisms behind autoimmunity. Therefore, releasing them from the blood and tissues around affected joints may have a therapeutic effect, lessening the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Gouty arthritis

Wet cupping therapy has also been successfully utilized as a treatment for gouty arthritis. One study found that, when performed on affected areas, bloodletting cupping therapy effectively reduced the painful symptoms of the condition. 

Wet cupping therapy can improve local blood and lymph circulation and facilitate the release of toxins and CPS from treated areas. This can reduce the number of harmful substances in the blood, lymph and tissues of painful joints, which may have a therapeutic effect in reducing symptoms of gouty arthritis.


Cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years as a therapeutic treatment for a variety of conditions relating to almost every area of the body. Cupping therapy is particularly effective for managing the painful symptoms of joint disorders such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gouty arthritis. Although the precise mechanisms behind these effects are poorly understood, there is evidence to suggest that the release of toxins and CPS from affected tissues may play a role in managing symptoms. 

Several studies have found that cupping therapy can effectively reduce pain, swelling and stiffness in people with joint disorders. This can improve range of movement and overall quality of life, while reducing the patient’s dependence on pharmacological management.


Click here to check out Cupping Warehouse Professional or Self Care Cups.

Back to blog