CentraCare Health – Melrose launches new blood flow restriction therapy program

Published in Media Releases Author: CentraCare

CentraCare Health – Melrose is the first health care organization in Central Minnesota to launch a blood flow restriction (BFR) therapy program.

Blood flow restriction (BRF) therapy involves using a semi-tourniquet to limit blood flow to a certain muscle group. A computer-operated cuff is applied temporarily to the arm or leg, which reduces the ability for blood to be pumped back to the heart from that limb.

Restricting the blood flow increases muscle oxygen demand, causing the muscles to work harder to maintain the same movement. Through this process, most people can increase muscle strength by using significantly less weight -- or no weight at all. Patients are able to gain strength, rehabilitate from injuries and reduce pain during movement.

“Patients who have weight-bearing restrictions, significant limitations due to surgery, structural issues or general weakness due to lack of movement really benefit from this type of therapy,” said Jared Eickhoff, physical therapist at CentraCare Health – Melrose. “Typical examples are hip or foot surgeries, rotator cuff or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repairs or hip and knee pain.”

Adverse side effects are rare. The most common effects are residual swelling in the limb, a fatigued muscle and occasional mild soreness. These are normal and usually resolve within 24 hours.

“We are really happy to be able to offer this service to our patients close to home,” Eickhoff noted. “We’ve already seen some great results with people of all ages and varying medical conditions.”