By Brandy Aguilar
“It was six weeks before I could put weight on it [left knee] and even bend it, so two months before I really started,” Sean Warren said.
Warren turned to Brett Fischer at the Fischer Institute in Phoenix after surgery on his left knee at the end of last year.
He is no stranger to the institute. Warren utilized it seven years ago to rehab his other knee.
“Physical therapy is voluntary as an adult,” Warren said. “You don’t have to go, but I wanted to get better for all the different reasons, including the hike.”
Warren not only wanted to get back to doing his daily activities, he was hoping he could be ready to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru this summer.
One way to get there was trying a new therapy technique called Blood Flow Restriction or BFR.
BFR uses a specialized FDA-approved system on an injured limb with a personalized and specific pressure to reduce blood flow in the leg or arm. By doing this, a patient can lift light weights and see benefits as if they were actually lifting heavier ones.
“Basically what BFR or Blood Flow Restriction is, is a cuff that measures how much pressure it will take to occlude 100 percent of your blood flow,” said Fischer, a physical therapist and founder of the Fischer Institute. “Research has shown that if I occlude 80 percent of your arterial flow and 15 percent of your arterial flow in your arm, I will create this effect.
“And what this effect is, is that we use weights that are super low,” Fischer continued.
“So we go 10 to 20 percent of one rep max, which is super lightweight. We use the cuff and now their brain thinks that we’re using heavy weights, but…