With Michael Phelps and other athletes in the 2016 Summer Olympics using cupping for recovery, many are wondering: Does it work?

Corey Snyder, D.P.T., O.C.S, S.C.S, M.T.C., physical therapy manager at the University of Michigan Health System MedSport, is available to discuss the research and effectiveness of the practice.

"Anecdotal evidence in case studies does purport the use of cupping for common soft tissue problems like plantar fasciitis and IT band syndrome, so it may be worth the effort in some cases," Snyder says. "However, there is not a lot of solid research behind its use. I think this is why it hasn’t become a fully utilized modality in physical therapy practice."

"In the scientific and sports medicine community, we don’t fully understand what its effects are just yet," he says.