Effects of cupping therapy on lower quarter y-balance test scores in collegiate baseball players
Author(s): Beth Adubato and Lori K Miller
Abstract: Cupping therapy is a therapeutic modality that has been suggested to improve blood flow, decrease pain, and increase function. Due to the scarcity of the literature in regard to best practices, parameters for pre- scribing and applying cupping therapy is absent in competitive athletic population. To ensure appropriate usage of cupping therapy, gaps in the literature on range of motion, strength, proprioception, power, speed and agility must be investigated. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the effects of a single cupping therapy treatment to the gastrocnemius on Lower Quarter Y-Balance Test (YBT) scores in collegiate baseball players. Ten male (age 21.6 ± 1.90) collegiate baseball players participated in this study. Participants completed three attempts in the anterior, posterolateral, and posteromedial directions for both lower extremities per YBT procedures. Following baseline measurements, four plastic cups were applied to the gastrocnemius of the non-dominant lower extremity for 15-minutes. After treatment, follow up YBT scores were taken. Upon completion of data collection paired samples t-tests and one- way repeated measures ANOVAs were performed to determine significant differences in scores following cupping therapy. Significant improvements were found pre- and post-treatment in all three directions in the lower extremity receiving cupping therapy (p < 0.05). When compared with the control extremity, significant differences were found in the anterior and posteromedial directions (p < 0.05). These results suggest that a single cupping therapy treatment to the gastrocnemius may improve anterior and postero- medial YBT scores in collegiate baseball players. Further studies are required to determine the effects of multiple cupping therapy treatments, as well as long term effects of cupping therapy on dynamic stability.