Blood Flow Restriction Therapy
Personalized Blood Flow Restriction (PBFR) is the new hype in the physical therapy world right now. Almost all professional sports teams use it to accelerate the rehabilitation of their athletes. PBFR enables therapists to improve muscle strength and size when a patient’s injury precautions may restrict heavy loads and activities. It also prevents atrophy, promotes bone growth, and is good for the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Our therapists have had excellent success by using PBFR, and doctors have been impressed by the improvements seen in patients.
At Color Country Physical Therapy, we utilize the Delfi Personalized Tourniquet System (PTS). A cuff is wrapped around the upper thigh or upper arm of the patient, and is connected to the PBFR device via a long tube. The device has a built-in doppler, which measures the patient’s blood flow and adjusts pressure accordingly. This is important for patient safety and comfort. Pressure is applied through the cuff to reduce blood flow to the extremity while the patient exercises. Our muscles utilize oxygen during exercise, and if that oxygen supply (blood) is reduced, the muscles will fatigue more quickly to the point of failure. This allows us to achieve muscle failure with only light resistance, thus maintaining given precautions for an injury. This muscle failure is necessary for optimal muscle and bone growth. Research shows that exercising with only 20% of the normal blood flow to a leg, or 50% to an arm, will produce maximal benefits to a patient.
Now don’t get us wrong. Even though the patient is only lifting light resistance, it is no walk in the park. We expect the patient to be exerting as much as they can for each exercise. This is where the most gains are made, and where recovery is accelerated. We will never push you harder than you are willing to be pushed, but we will strive to motivate you to reach your full potential.
Besides allowing us to push a muscle to failure, PBFR also increases the amount of growth hormone and protein synthesis in the affected extremity. That means that the patient’s muscles are craving protein, which is the primary building block of muscle. We encourage our patients to consume high levels of protein (personalized to each patient) to fulfill that protein need during rehabilitation.
Come to Color Country Physical Therapy to get the most up-to-date and research-based care for your rehabilitation needs. We strive for excellence in every area of treatment, and we want to get you back to what you love doing the most as quickly as possible.