In the world of physical therapy, Blood Flow Restriction is a technique used to promote muscular strength without performing maximum exertion on the muscles and joints. The that we have at Fischer Institute is used to monitor and regulate blood flow to your arm or leg while exercising.

The PTS machine is comparable to an automated blood pressure cuff you would find at the doctor’s office and Fischer Institute is the first to provide the only FDA approved device for Blood Flow Restriction in the state of Arizona. Others have performed blood flow restriction with a tourniquet but are unable to actually measure how much bloodflow is being restricted whereas our device measures exactly how much bloodflow is restricted and is performed based on research. Johnny Owens has been using this method on over 300 patients who have shown significant improvement. Theories include data from a build-up of metabolites, systemic anabolic response, and cellular swelling. Currently, the device that is currently being used in all 14 of the Blood Flow Restriction training locations is the Delfi Personalized Tourniquet System for Blood Flow Restriction, and follows the AORN guidelines for tourniquet safety. Adverse side effects are extremely rare.

First, the PTS cuff is placed around your arm or leg. For five minutes this cuff will inflate and restrict the blood flow to your arm or leg while you are performing an exercise. Once you have performed for five minutes, the cuff will release and blood will return to your limb for 1 minute.  You can repeat and perform up to 3 exercises for a total of 15 minutes.

For some, the option of HIIT or high intensity training, which is strength training to optimize muscular strength and hypertrophy seems like the obvious option, yet for others, such a heavy load might not be feasible or even possible for them because of the weakness in joints and other weak or recovering body parts, so that’s where BFR comes in to achieve the same effects but with less force and pressure on the patient’s body. This is especially important for the elderly.

This is beneficial to your rehabilitation because that blood comes rushing back into your arm or leg full of fresh oxygen, nutrients and muscle growth promoting hormones. These natural supplies will aid your healing process.  One of the many great factors about this technique is that it can be used for many injuries: post-operative procedures, ligament sprains, and strains to muscles or tendons, as well as strength gaining. The method of physical rehabilitation allows us to strengthen the muscle with over-loading a healing joint or bone. Blood Flow Restriction is also not limited to a particular injury, age or gender! It is beneficial for all looking to increase strength or improve the healing process.

Brett Fischer worked closely with Jonny Owens at Owens Recovery Science to become certified Blood Flow Restriction Therapy.  Contact Fischer Institute of Physical Therapy for more information.


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