At TRIA, our team members are constantly trying to find ways to stay innovative and provide the best quality of care to return patients back to their everyday life. The newest innovative technique our physical therapists are implementing is Blood Flow Restriction (BFR).
“Blood Flow Restriction is a technique using specially made tourniquets to control the amount of blood that flows in and out of an area of the body during exercise,” said Eli Mansfield, athletic trainer and administrative fellow. “The cuffs are connected to a computerized device which is programmed and controlled by a certified Blood Flow Restriction specialist. This device assists in keeping naturally occurring nutrients in the targeted area for a longer period of time, while not limiting function of the body. This allows the patient to use a lower level of resistance or less weight to complete the same movement, while also increasing strength at a faster pace.”
Blood Flow Restriction is used as a strengthening technique during a patient’s physical therapy program after surgery or an injury. A certified Blood Flow Restriction practitioner will use this technique during a patients regular physical therapy visit and most often in their early stages of recovery. Historically, BFR was only incorporated into a professional or elite athlete’s care.
In mid-November, ten TRIA physical therapists became certified to utilize this technique in their care. Those therapists had to complete the certification in-person. It’s also administered by researchers who’ve developed best practices and safety protocols for BFR.
“The most interesting aspect of BFR is the ability to see greater gains in strength while also reducing the amount of stress put on the body,” said Mansfield. “Patients will be able to complete more work in the same amount of time as their regular physical therapy visit. BFR allows patients to increase strength and reduce risk of injury during rehabilitation.”
TRIA patients, who qualify for BFR, can now receive the same care as an elite athlete.
“TRIA has a rich tradition of leading the market with innovative orthopaedic care offerings for patients. TRIA Physical Therapy along with our partners at Park Nicollet Rehabilitation are pleased to be the first physical therapy practice in the region to certify clinicians in Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation,” said Chris O’Hotto, Director of Rehabilitation. “The ability of our therapists and athletic trainers to offer the most current and successful rehabilitation options is crucial to our TRIA mission. Current research indicates that Blood Flow Restriction Training allows patients to increase strength and reduce atrophy with only 30% typical exercise resistance load, allowing for game-changing recovery producing dramatically positive results.”
Certified Blood Flow Restriction Practitioners