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      Hi all! I had a strange thing happen recently with a patient and am curious of other ideas why this happened. On a Monday afternoon I did some dry needling and cupping on a patients posterior-lateral hip hitting areas such as superior cluneal, iliotibial, inferior gluteal and symptomatic points in glute med/min. I have previously needled this same patient many times in similar areas with no issues, but had not combined cupping afterwards until this day. At the time of treatment, the patient did not experience anything out of the ordinary. The next time I saw the patient she informed me that Tuesday afternoon after our session she noticed significant swelling in her foot/ankle, and it seemed to go up her leg. She works in healthcare, so went to the ER to rule out a DVT. All her blood work and testing came back normal. The swelling went away in about 48 hours. She has no other health conditions that should have caused this. Any ideas/thoughts? Should I avoid combining needling and cupping?


        I combine dry needling with cupping all the time and I have never had this issue. I’m sorry that happened, that is pretty scary!! I’ve had a few patients get things like hives though from both cupping and needling. Maybe just a fluke??

        Frank Gargano

          Hi Emily,
          I have combined the two for many years- I just do the cupping first OR I needle around the cups I tend to avoid needling then cupping because of the increased likelihood of drawing some blood out. I have never had a response like you describe and not really sure why it would have happened as a direct result of adding the cupping. the distal swelling is the interesting part of it and then traveling proximally. the good news is she is ok so I would stick with cupping first or needling around cups and avoid cupping after needling.

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