Injury Running Recovery: Cupping – The Good, Bad and Ugly

Good lord who ever invented cupping as a treatment for injuries is a crazy and amazing all at once! Yesterday, I had a physio appointment for my hamstring…it’s been three weeks since I’ve seen Chris – my physiotherapist. Our hang out sessions are getting further and further apart ๐Ÿ™‚

At the start of my appointment, Chris asked how I was doing and I said really good. I explained my running over the last three weeks and he was really happy to hear where I am with my pain level.

The Bad:ย Each visit Chris test my hamstrings and glutes, really yesterday was no different. On the third attempt to test my hamstring I got a MAJOR cramp in my hamstring and I thought I was going to cry. I immediately grab my hamstring and starting laughing/crying…not pretty. He massaged it out a bit but I was in a lot of pain.

After a little heat and electrical currents (not sure what that’s called), my cramped hamstring was a little happier but still pissed off and sore. We did a few more easy treatments of massing the hamstring and then came the UGLY.

The Ugly:ย We went back to cupping and I was super scared this time as I knew what to expect PLUS, I had a cramped up hamstring. He took it easy on me at first and then ramped it up. My IT Band and hamstring area is extremely sore as well just because of every day running that I’m now doing. He wasn’t too concerned.

I may have sworn a few times and said a few other words one does when in pain from cupping. Oh, when he does cupping, he puts the “cup” on and then massages my whole hamstring from one end to the other. Yeah, painful! By the end of it my arms and legs were starting to sweat as I was in that much pain!

The Good:ย I was told to hydrate really well for the rest of the day to help with the cramped muscle and he gave me a specific stretch to do.

I’m still good to keep training for my half marathons this fall and able to do more intense cross training like T25, Jillian Michael’s etc. He is happy with my progress and I have to do my PT exercises 3 times a week – no problem boss!

I managed a 7k run on THE BEAST a.k.a. treadmill, last night. It started off a little rough but I managed to shake off the soreness in my leg. It went by pretty fast and I was covered in sweat so I sat on our deck for a bit to cool off. #summerloveย 

7k treadmill run

7k treadmill run

So the good is that I’m getting stronger and the pain is very minimal. I have to work a little more on my glutes but I’m getting there.ย My flexibility is better on my “injured” leg then my non-injured leg – go figure!ย I go back in a month’s time.

Today I’m hoping to run 5k at lunch as Lilly has soccer tonight and I’m taking tomorrow off as it’s a rest day. Really, I’m getting a little older tomorrow and happy to take a rest day and maybe drink some wine and other bad food too ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you ever had cupping done?ย Did you cry, swear, yell – or do all three?

How often do you get cramps or charlie-horses in your legs?

My last “injury running recovery” post.

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19 thoughts on “Injury Running Recovery: Cupping – The Good, Bad and Ugly

  1. I’ve tried a lot of stuff with running injuries but never cupping! I would totally try it if I thought it would fix my problem. Great job rehabbing and taking care of your body!

  2. We’re from a big swimming family. My daughter swims in college now. PT for swimmers often includes cupping these days, something we didn’t have back when I was swimming in the 80’s! It looks a little like torture ๐Ÿ™‚ Best to you and continued healing!

  3. Glad you’re getting better!! I’ve never experienced cupping and have no idea what it is, but after reading your description, I’m scared of it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to get bad charlie horses but now that I’m forcing myself to drink more water they’ve gotten better.

  4. My toes cramp almost immediately when I stop running and then will randomly cramp up after I’m done running until I’m fully hydrated again. It is sooo painful and frustrating. I never really cramp anywhere else, it’s so strange!

  5. Cupping is exactly as you described it. Amazing and painful all at once. Nothing is worse than getting a cramp like that! I’ve been there. I had it happen in a yoga class once and couldn’t make it stop. I was so embarrassed!

  6. I’ve never tried cupping, and I’m scared from all the descriptions I’ve read from you and other bloggers. Does not sound like fun at all! But I’m glad it seems to be helping. I sometimes get cramps in my hammies if I’m doing bridges, but thankfully not often. They hurt so much!

  7. It sounds like the cupping is helping, as painful as it may be. I’ve seen it being done and can’t imagine. I find that Gatorade is a great way to help me stay hydrated and ward off leg cramping.

  8. Pingback: MRW Half Marathon Training Week #3 Recap | Piper's Run

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