Brookings Health System’s rehabilitative services now offers blood flow restriction therapy, a rehabilitative technique that helps patients repair and strengthen muscle and bone while performing low-intensity exercises.
BFR uses a specialized tourniquet cuff that restricts blood flow by 50 to 80%, depending on the area being treated. The tourniquet reduces just enough blood flow to create a positive, muscle growth response in a leg or arm. Under natural circumstances, muscle growth requires intense exercise. With BFR, muscle growth happens with light exercise.
“BFR works well for patients who cannot bear weight after surgery or an injury, such as an ACL tear or a leg fracture. It also benefits patients with limitations due to chronic weakness or osteoarthritis. The therapy helps patients either maintain or build their muscle strength. By restricting blood flow to the affected area, they reap the benefits of a high-intensity workout while performing low-intensity exercise,” said physical therapist Stanley Halseide, DPT.
BFR sessions are scheduled two to three times per week. During a BFR session, a trained physical therapist monitors a patient’s performance to ensure a limb does not have too much pressure applied to it. Halseide, who is also a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist and a certified athletic trainer, is certified to administer BFR at Brookings Health.
Individuals interested in BFR may call Brookings Health System’s Rehabilitative Services at (605) 696-8060 to learn if they are a good candidate for the therapy technique. A physician referral is required for physical therapy services.
More information about physical therapy is also available online at brookingshealth.org/PT.