Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Human Performance


Exercise Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Megan Nelson


PURPOSE: Cupping therapy involves lifting and separating fascial tissue to facilitate stretching and promote blood flow. Although cupping is a common treatment modality for pain, studies are inconsistent in regards to whether cupping improves other outcomes, like range of motion. Possessing a limited range of motion can lead to musculoskeletal injury. The aim of this research is to determine the acute effect of different methods of cupping therapy on ankle dorsiflexion. METHODS: A total of 35 healthy adults (age: 22.1±4.52 years) with an average ankle ROM of 34.68±4.22° at baseline were included in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four cupping therapy groups: static cupping, dynamic cupping, static sham cupping, or dynamic sham cupping. Ankle ROM was measured pre- and immediately post-intervention. The minimal detectable change (MDC) for weight bearing ankle dorsiflexion was calculated based on the reliability of baseline measurements at 4.96º. A 2x4 mixed ANOVA was used to determine whether ankle ROM differed pre-to-post treatment. RESULTS: All groups showed improvement in ankle ROM post-intervention (38.41±4.95º), but no significant interaction effect between intervention and time (F(3,31)=1.31, p=.289). However, a significant main effect of time was observed(F(1,31)=33.69, p CONCLUSION: These findings support the potential of cupping as a modality for improving ankle ROM. Dynamic cupping may be more effective than static cupping for improving ankle ROM, so dynamic cupping can be considered as a potential intervention to address limited ankle ROM.

Access Type

Open Access