Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital’s blood flow restriction therapy for muscle recovery has a success that’s “out of this world” according to physical therapist Kyle Webb.
“The recovery phase that would take us six weeks, we’re seeing we can get patients discharged within three to four weeks,” said Webb.
The blood flow restriction therapy is performed with a cuff similar to those used to check blood pressure and is placed on either an injured individual’s upper arm or thigh. With the blood supply reduced, the patient is instructed to do specific, but simple exercises.
Because of the restricted blood flow, the patient’s mind believes the body is working hard, triggering a physical response where the body begins repairing the area below the cuff. 1/2 There are currently 30 to 35 patients benefiting from the therapy, according to Web.
OLBH is the first in the Ashland area to offer the therapy for muscle recovery. The physical therapy technique is possible because of the Personalized Tourniquet System, manufactured by Delfi Medical Innovations. The new equipment is in use at the OLBH Human Motion Vitality Center.
The population who benefits from the therapy includes those with an injury, who are recovering from surgery and even elderly patients who have weakened limbs, said Webb. He explained patients are typically receiving the therapy two to three times a week with sessions lasting between 45 minutes and an hour.
Webb said patients will start out by doing table exercises. As they progress, they can possibly move into more advanced exercises like squats.
“We’re seeing things like patients coming in with increased limb size on the limb we’ve been using it on so what that shows us is not only are we decreasing atrophy in the limb but we are also increasing the strength within that limb too,” he said.
For more information concerning blood flow restriction therapy, contact the OLBH Human Motion Vitality Center at (606) 833-3517.