A meta-analysis by Korean researchers has concluded that cupping helps neck pain. Eighteen randomised studies were included. The majority of studies looked at the effect of ten treatments, reflecting the chronic nature of a lot of neck problems.
Compared with no treatment, cupping was associated with significant improvements in pain levels and function. Compared with active controls, cupping was also associated with significant pain reduction and improved quality of life. Adverse events were infrequent, mild and temporary.
The authors cite a paper published in 2016, which concluded that the increased use of computers and smartphones around the world, is leading to a rise in neck pain. They say that cupping may therefore be an important and cost-effective therapy.
(Is cupping therapy effective in patients with neck pain? BMJ Open, 5 November 2018.)