Cary Orthopaedic’s physical therapists, Chad Moses, PT, Cert. DN/SMT, GTS, CKTP, Dip. Osteopractic and Kevin Raymond, DPT, Cert. DN, BTS, have produced our Patient Education Series to inform patients about various physical therapy techniques. In this episode, learn about blood flow restriction.
What is blood flow restriction?
Blood flow restriction therapy started about ten years ago in the U.S. military. Men and women coming home with upper and lower extremity injuries began using restorative medicine to avoid amputation. Blood flow restriction therapy helped these patients during rehabilitation. This type of therapy is predominately used in post-operative rehab to help to increase muscle strength and bone healing as well as reducing the formation of scar tissue.
How does blood flow restriction work?
Blood flow restriction therapy works by occluding the blood flow to the upper and lower extremities to decrease oxygen to the muscle and allow metabolic changes to occur. Blood flow restriction therapy provides 50% occlusion to upper extremities and 80% occlusion to lower extremities. This allows patients to exercise at a lower workload, decreasing stress to healing tendons and ligaments in the body. With blood flow restriction therapy, post-operative patients can work at a much lower intensity while allowing them to still reap the benefits of high intensity training to gain muscle hypertrophy and strength.
What are the benefits of blood flow restriction?
There are many benefits to blood flow restriction. It helps to:
- Increase strength with only 30% workload
- Increase muscle hypertrophy
- Improve muscle endurance in a third of the time
- Increase growth hormone responses
- Improve bone density
- Decrease atrophy and loss of strength post-operatively
- Improve endurance and VO2 max
- Decreased scar tissue post-operatively
Where to find blood flow restriction in the Triangle
The physical therapists at Cary Orthopaedics Morrisville offer blood flow restriction along with a variety of techniques, strategies and modalities to treat each unique patient.