Common Questions About Blood Flow Restriction Therapy For Muscle Tear Recovery

Health & Medical Blog

Tearing a muscle can be quite painful. It can take a long while for the body to heal such a tear on its own. Luckily, there are various therapeutic methods that can help speed and enhance healing after a muscle tear. One of the best-known options is called blood flow restriction therapy. Here are some common questions you may have if this therapy has been recommended for you.

What does the therapy involve?

As the name suggests, this therapy involves restricting blood flow to the injured muscle. Your practitioner will typically do this by putting a specialized cuff around the limb, just above the muscle that you tore. They can tighten this cuff to limit the amount of blood that flows back out of the muscle. In other words, they allow the muscle to fill with blood, and they then tighten the cuff to keep the blood in the muscle for longer than usual. While the blood is in the muscle, you may be asked to do some basic exercises. For example, they may have you push against something, bend and straighten your leg a few times, or kick gently. 

How does blood flow restriction therapy work?

Keeping the blood trapped in the muscle encourages the muscle cells to fully utilize all of the oxygen and nutrients in that blood. This way, they obtain more of the resources needed to heal the muscle tear. This therapy also helps prevent muscle atrophy, which can occur if you don't move the muscle for some time due to pain from the injury.

Does blood flow restriction therapy hurt?

Some patients find the process a bit unpleasant, but it should not be overtly painful. Your muscle may feel sore and tight when you do the exercises, but the soreness should go back to its usual levels once you stop using the muscle. Patients often say they feel less sore a few hours or a day after this therapy.

Where do you have blood flow restriction therapy performed?

This therapy is often performed in a physical therapist's office as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan for a torn muscle.  If you do not have a physical therapist, your primary care doctor should be able to refer you to one.

With these questions answered, you should feel more comfortable seeking blood flow restriction therapy for a torn muscle. It can be a very effective and safe choice.

Contact a professional for more information about blood flow restriction therapy


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