Once Just for Athletes, Blood Flow Therapy Now Readily Available

April 10, 2017 10:59 PM

It's a little device that professional athletes have been using for injury rehab, and now you can too. 

It's called Blood Flow Restriction Therapy, or BFR for short.


Athletes such as Adrian Peterson have sought the treatment. Now, Park Nicollet and TRIA Orthopaedic in the Twin Cities are offering the therapy to all kinds of patients having problems with joints, ligaments and tendons.

"Part of what lead us to bring this in is that the Vikings were having to fly (elsewhere) for care, and now we decided to bring it here and bring it to the masses," said Bill Koch, a physical therapist with Park Nicollet.

Here's how it works: a blood-pressure cuff is placed around a patient's leg or arm to restrict blood flow return, causing blood to pool in the muscle.

"One of the cool things about this procedure is it allows you to get the same results as high-intensity exercise using really low loads," Koch said. "That's the idea behind it."

The therapy is curently available at four clinics throughout the metro, with plans to make it available at eight more before the end of the year.


Ellen Galles

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