Blazer Cupping

Blazer Cupping

We only have one big time professional sports team in Portland, the Trailblazers. No football or baseball. We do have professional soccer, but that doesn't really count. In Portland the Blazers rule.

I had long thought cupping in athletics was a protective device to prevent groin injuries, although it is evidently voluntary in the NBA, as some have learned to their discomfort.

I think protective cupping would be a good idea. Therapeutic? Not so much. Evidently promoted by their Director of Player Health and Performance, Cupping is a form of pseudo-scientific nonsense that is being used by the Blazers. I have discussed one form, moxibustion, over at Science-Based Medicine. Like most pseudo-medicine, it is an elaborate placebo with no real effects on real disease.

 

Its alleged mechanism of action

the idea is the suction draws fluid out of the area, Kaman explained, allowing tissues to heal more quickly.

is not based on known processes. It is more akin to the wet sock treatment of stuffy nose, divorced from anatomy and physiology,

I am not surprised the Blazers are using it, since athletes often use pseudo-science.  I suspect golfers lead the list. I still had to laugh at one quote

"It's scientific stuff,'' Kaman said. "I could sit here and talk to you about it, but you wouldn't know what I was talking about. I'm not calling you dumb it's just a mixture of Western and Eastern medicines and some people think it works, some people don't.

It is not scientific stuff, it is pseudo-scientific stuff. That is why no one understands what you are talking about. The theory and practice behind cupping is gibberish. Those who think cupping  does not work are probably those who understand reality.  As one meta-analysis said

Although RCTs provide a higher quality of evidence, we included non-RCTs in this study because the limited number of RCTs did not provide convincing evidence.

Demonstrating the usual results of alternative medical studies: it only has effects when the studies are poorly done. The most unreliable from of evidence is the anecdote:

"I find it works pretty good,'' Kaman said and "It works,'' Batum said.

Well, it doesn’t in any well done study. Any positive results are due to placebo effects, the medical beer goggles.

I wonder if the Blazers will suggest giant magnets (3:52 mark) next for player injuries?

Points of Interest 11/13/2014
Points of Interest 11/11/2014

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