November 13, 2017

According to a study by the American College of Sports Medicine, muscles must lift loads greater than 65% of a one-rep maximum regularly in order to gain strength. That’s no problem for athletes and weight trainers and even ordinary, healthy people - but for those recuperating from injuries or dealing with pain or limited mobility, it’s often difficult or impossible to reach that threshold.

In cases like these, Personalized Blood Flow Restriction can be a game changer.

“In terms of muscle strength gain, with PBFR, we see the results and benefits of a high intensity work out but through the use of lighter and safer loads of resistance,” said Chad Joyce, PT and Manager for the Physical Therapy Department at OSMC. “Physiologically, muscle tissue responds to PBFR rehabilitation as it would to high intensity training.”

PBFR is delivered using a specialized and scientifically studied Delfi Personalized Tourniquet System.  A cuff is attached proximally to the upper or lower extremity and then pressurized.  The Delfi system monitors blood pressure and then self-regulates to deliver a consistent occlusion percentage while performing exercise.  The targeted muscle tissue is partially deprived of oxygen during exercise, thus stimulating a high intensity work out response.

At OSMC, Personalized Blood Flow Restriction is an added tool which may be used in physical therapy to treat upper and lower extremity injuries.  In certain patients, it can help shorten recovery times. Recovery after ACL reconstruction is one example.  Projected return to sport after this surgery is often 9-12 months, largely due to the significant muscle atrophy which occurs following the injury and early period of post-surgical recovery.  Early post-surgical use of PBFR is aiding in quicker recovery of normal muscle strength.

OSMC Physical Therapists are Certified in Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation. No other rehabilitation center in Manhattan or the surrounding area uses PBFR at this time.

“PBFR has a wide range of applications for both upper and lower extremity injuries,” said Joyce.  “In addition to ACL injuries, we are using it to treat a wide variety of ankle and foot conditions, hand and elbow conditions, tendon injuries, as well as applications for the shoulder to include rotator cuff injuries.”

“OSMC takes pride in having the best, most caring, highest trained and most qualified Physical Therapist in Manhattan,” Joyce said. “Embracing new technologies in the PT department is just part of our larger OSMC company goal of being the premier Ortho and Sports Medicine Center for the entire region.”