MIRAMAR, Fla. – Each year, half of all Americans over the age of 18 suffer an injury that lasts more than three months, often requiring physical therapy.
At Memorial Healthcare’s outpatient rehabilitation centers, therapists are now using a novel approach that helps patients gain strength without lifting heavy loads.
One of these patients is 16-year-old Marcus Arayata, who is passionate about playing soccer.
During training in early 2022, a simple move caused severe damage to his knee.
“I didn’t think much about it until I got my MRI, where they said I tore it up completely, and it was like, ‘Oh, that’s big news’ because it wasn’t something I really expected,” said Arayata.
After surgery to repair the injury, he began physical therapy at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Rehab at Memorial Miramar, where specialists work with an innovative approach called Blood Flow Restriction Training.
“The idea behind this is that you take a person’s leg or arm and cuff their arm and basically restrict blood flow to that part of the body,” said Davide Ioffredi, a licensed physical therapist and athletic trainer at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
By restricting blood flow and therefore oxygen, the process actually produces high levels of strengthening without the need for heavy weight-bearing exercise.
“The concept is that you’re doing a very simple exercise, like lifting your leg, and it creates the effect of making your muscles feel like they’re lifting 1,000 pounds or 2,000 pounds,” Ioffredi said.
In the end, patients can recover faster from injuries.
“You kind of startle the body and it creates this reaction where hormones are released and you get a lot more strength,” Ioffredi said.
Although he was initially skeptical, Arayata said the results speak for themselves.
“My goal is to play at least one game by the end of the year, which I’m really looking forward to,” he said.
Blood flow restriction training is regulated and based on certain parameters to make it safe for the patient.
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https://www.local10.com/health/2022/09/23/novel-physical-therapy-approach-improves-recovery/ Novel physical therapy approach improves recovery