Blood flow restriction therapy is a treatment for musculoskeletal injuries or surgical rehab that provides quicker improvements in strength and hypertrophy (muscle growth). Blood flow restriction therapy is also used with healthy athletes to improve their performance. The treatment involves the use of a pneumatic tourniquet combined with a Doppler system to monitor the blood flow in a limb during exercise. Using this treatment allows the patient to exercise with lighter weights and still achieve growth in strength and muscle.
Personalized Blood Flow Restriction Device
The goal of this therapy is to reduce the blood flow just enough to create positive outcomes. This is achieved by using a Personalized Blood Flow Restriction device that utilizes a Doppler system to monitor and constantly adjusts for your individual pressure. The devices that Baptist Health uses are the only devices approved by the FDA for this treatment.
Once your personalized pressure is determined, your physical therapist will direct you in specific exercises based on your rehabilitation needs. Even though you will be lifting light weights, your muscles will feel like you are exercising at a high intensity. As the therapist instructs you on the certain number of reps, you will begin to have a buildup of lactate that causes some muscle burning. Once you have achieved the desired lactate levels, many positive changes can start to develop including an increase in growth hormone and many other metabolic muscle growth factors. These factors lead to an increase in muscle protein synthesis (your muscles ability to grow), bone healing, and tendon healing. A discussion regarding proper nutrition can help further maximize these gains.