Blood Flow Restriction Training with Justin Brown PT, DPT, ATC

Q and A with Justin: Understanding what BFR Can Do For You

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Justin, what is Blood Flow Restriction Training?

(JUSTIN) Blood Flow Restriction Training, what we generally refer to as BFR for short, is brief or intermittent occlusion or restriction of arterial and venous blood flow that is performed by applying a tourniquet to the upper or lower extremity. BFR has been found to augment the skeletal muscle adaption along with systemic whole-body changes and cardiovascular benefits while at rest, with low intensity endurance exercises or low load-resistance training. It’s been found to be safe when applied with cuffs of appropriate width along with personalized limb occlusion pressure obtained with a handheld doppler. 

OK, that’s a lot of words. Can you simplify it a bit for us? 

(JUSTIN) Basically, it’s performing exercises while reducing the blood supply to certain muscles. That causes your body to go into an oxygen depleted, anaerobic state. And, once in that state, your body responds in a specific way, resulting in a specific training adaptation. Certain hormones are released that cause your body to respond like your exercising with heavy weights, instead of the low intensity weights or the low load resistance exercises you are actually using and doing. (Low intensity weights or low load resistance exercises are required for people who have been injured or who have certain weaknesses.) That means rebuilding muscle mass and strength quicker, like you would with heavy weights. 

 How do you restrict the blood flow?

 (JUSTIN) We use blood flow cuffs. They are similar to a blood pressure cuff and some people actually use blood pressure cuffs for BFR. Our blood flow cuffs are considered medical tourniquets and are considered actual medical devices.

 Who will benefit from BFR?

 (JUSTIN) We can use BFR for any and all diagnoses of weakness or cardiovascular based endurance issues. So, BFR will improve your strength and muscular endurance. It can also improve cardiovascular endurance if we are doing specific endurance-based exercises.

 Would the average person come to you or would someone who had knee surgery get a prescription or is an elite athlete going to be your typical patient?

 (JUSTIN) All three! We use it with our higher-level athletes, especially post-surgery, because they can’t lift heavy weights like they typically would, and they need to get to a higher strength aspect quicker. So, BFR allows us to trick the body into believing it’s lifting heavy weights without actually lifting heavy weights.

 What kind of results would someone expect to see with BFR compared to traditional treatment or therapy?

 (JUSTIN) After surgery, muscles shrink. BFR will bring that muscle back to where it was pre-surgery much quicker than traditional therapy. You’ll gain a lot of strength much quicker with BFR than that traditional way. The best way to gain strength is to lift heavy. Most of our patients can’t lift heavy, so this is the next best thing compared to lifting heavy.

 Are there people who shouldn’t try BFR?

 (JUSTIN) As long as a person has clearance from their physician to exercise, then they can do BFR. (Ask your physician before seeing a BFR specialist to ensure this treatment is right for you and please consult a BFR specialist, before trying BFR training.)

 Why should someone only attempt BFR under the supervision of someone expertly trained in BFR?

 (JUSTIN) It’s important to use the right equipment (blood flow cuffs and handheld doppler) and to know your personal occlusion pressure. Once you are trained with the equipment and understand your individual pressure goals, it’s safe to do it yourself, but only with the right equipment.   

 What can a person do, if they hear about BFR and want to try it, but because it’s relatively new, their own doctor doesn’t know about it?

 (JUSTIN) They can have their BFR-trained therapist get in touch with their physician to discuss the option. (There are over 700 research articles supporting BFR.)  

 Do you have a story of someone who was successful with BFR?

 (JUSTIN) Yes! A patient had trouble with her quad muscle on the inside of her leg. We were going through traditional therapy but didn’t see huge changes. Once we began using the cuffs, we could see a significant improvement compared to what she had been doing. She had no pain and regained muscle mass on her quad. It was noticeable. Both sides were back to a similar size.  

Justin Brown PT, DPT, ATC | Advanced PT – Clio | (810)687-8700 | JBrown@advpt.com

 

Angels at Advanced PT

Andrew Moore’s Success Story at Advanced Physical Therapy Center – Clio

To me they’re like angels! Sue sees things differently. She wants me to do things the right way. She doesn’t skimp. Patty wants precision each time…she always encourages me. You get beat down so much, you want to give up. But Patty builds you up, keeps you going.

Andrew Moore, Clio Patient

Andrew Moore sings the praises of Sue Hall, PT and Patty Rumbold, PTA. Their support and the results he sees, keep him coming back to Advanced Physical Therapy Center – Clio.

Andrew first walked through the doors of Advanced PT – Clio after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. His muscles weren’t working properly, and his body was becoming stiff. An innovative program called LSVT-BIG, can work wonders for people facing this long-term battle.  And, it worked wonders for Andrew. The program helps to increase strength, motor learning, and changes in brain function in people with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions. Each treatment focuses on the production of large amplitude, whole body functional movements. Sue took a video of Andrew on his first day of this therapy and one on his last. Andrew was shocked at the difference in his movements and stability, saying, “I looked like a completely different person.”  

Andrew still does his LSVT-BIG exercises to this day. But in the meantime, another health struggle brought Andrew back to Advanced PT for a second round of care. In the fall of 2019, Andrew had a mild heart attack. While still recovering from that, less than three weeks later, Andrew landed in the hospital again with a bleeding ulcer. September and October were tough on Andrew. He lost weight and strength. His doctor recommended physical therapy to build up his body and help him recover. Andrew knew right where to go.

“This is the place I wanted to come to,” said Andrew, about Advanced PT – Clio. He knew Sue and Patty would welcome him like family. Andrew had experienced therapy at another clinic, but says the warmth wasn’t there. He went on, “they treat me like a unique individual. They open up to me, and I open up to them.” It’s a close relationship that produces results. “My wife had to help me get into bed and roll me over. Now, I can roll over by myself. My wife doesn’t need to help me anymore. Now, I can lift and carry things again. I put my own clothes on. I still drive. I go grocery shopping.”

Andrew plans to keep up with the exercises he’s learned with Sue and Patty by joining Advanced PT’s StepDown program. It’s an option for patients to continue their regimen on their own, using Advanced PT’s equipment and gym space, for a low monthly fee.

When asked for a final thought, Andrew said, “I wish I would have found Advanced PT sooner.”

Advanced Physical Therapy Center – Clio | 303 S. Mill Street | (810)687-8700

Natalie Mangett, OTRL, CHT joins Advanced PT – Davison, to help people live the life they deserve

 

Natalie Mangett BH Photo 4-26-2019

It’s the things you may take for granted, like starting your car or drying your hair. But seeing her patients do these things they once thought were impossible, motivates Natalie Mangett, OTRL, CHT every day.

Natalie was inspired to become an OT after seeing her father develop challenges during an illness. She went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Occupational Therapy at Baker College, graduating in 1999. Then, in 2017, she received a National Certification in Hand Therapy. Natalie has worked all over the country as an OT and most recently worked with surgical and non-surgical patients alongside orthopedic and hand surgeons.

With 20 years of experience as an occupational therapist, Natalie specializes in wrist fractures, trigger point release and scar management. She’s expertly trained in kinesiology taping and splint making. She believes education is an integral part of therapy. She wants her patients to understand exactly why she’s asking them to do a certain task and the long-term goal.

Natalie began working at Advanced PT in March of 2019 and loves the family atmosphere she found. Family is important to her when she’s not at the clinic, too. She loves to spend time with them up north on the water. Natalie is a runner and loves to ski in the winter.

Natalie wants her patients to know, she likes to keep the lines of communication open. She says she wants to know about day-to-day struggles, so she can find real solutions during therapy. Her goal is to have her patients get the most out of their sessions and get back to living the life they deserve.

Natalie Mangett | NMangett@advpt.com | (810)412-5100

Caitlin Bearss, PT, DPT joins Advanced PT, Davison

Caitlin Bearss 2019

From small achievements to major goals, Caitlin Bearss, PT, DPT loves to witness her patients’ accomplishments. In fact, it’s one of her favorite things about being a physical therapist. Caitlin grew up on the western side of Michigan in Reed City, and a rolled ankle in high school, followed by her own round of physical therapy, pushed her to want to become a PT. She began her journey by job shadowing in her hometown and then set her sights on college. She received a bachelor’s degree in Health Science, followed by a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Oakland University, rounding out her studies in 2013.

Caitlin began working as a PT, right after receiving her degree. Most recently, she worked closely with orthopedic surgeons both pre- and post-operative, helping patients who were going through ACL repairs, knee replacements and joint injuries. Her passion is helping people recover. She thrives on creating a plan that will help them progress from being injured, to being able to enjoy life again. Caitlin joined the Advanced PT team in March of 2019. She specializes in manual techniques and is also expertly trained in kinesiology taping.

Caitlin has always been drawn to sports. She played volleyball, basketball and soccer in high school and spent a lot of time in and around pools as a swim instructor and lifeguard. She includes her passion for sports in her life now, by playing volleyball on a regular basis. She works out frequently and typically runs several 5-K charity races every year. She loves to be outside and when inside, she likes to read and sew. She lives in Davison with her husband and two daughters.

Caitlin says one of the best things she contributes to the patient-therapist relationship is she loves to learn the patient’s story. It helps her develop a treatment plan specifically designed for the patient’s needs and personality. Caitlin says she’s even had the privilege of seeing some of her patients succeed, after treatment. Some have invited her to watch them play the sports they were forced to stop because of injury.

Caitlin Bearss | CBearss@advpt.com | (810)412-5100 | 2138 Fairway Dr., Davison, MI 48423 

Ewa Pluszczyk, PT joins Advanced PT, Waterford, company’s newest clinic

Pluszczyk _ Ewa 1-22-2018DSC_12Ewa Pluszczyk, PT has been a physical therapist since 1994. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Rehabilitation and Physical Education from the Academy of Physical Education in Poznan, Poland. After moving to the United States in 1996, she received her Michigan Physical Therapy License. 

Ewa is a manual, hands-on PT with 25 years of experience in outpatient, orthopedic physical therapy. She has over 10 years of direct care experience, working closely with neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons on challenging cases of neck and back pain and post-operative shoulder and knee recovery. She has helped athletes from nearly every discipline and credits her success to the fact that she targets the cause of the pain and designs individualized programs to improve and restore physical function as well as alleviating pain. If something doesn’t work, she’s willing to shift gears until she finds something that does. Her success stories are countless.

Ewa is an avid tennis player. She plays at least two times a week and competes with a team out of the Deer Lake Athletic Club, that won a state championship in 2018. Ewa lives in White Lake with her husband, two children and the family dog.

Ewa Pluszczyk

EPluszczyk@advpt.com | 6650 Highland Rd., Waterford, MI 48327 | (248)618-3050

Jason Sosnowski, PT, DPT joins Advanced PT, Flint

Sosnowski_jason 12-31-2018 DSC_15_0 bhphotographic (1)Jason Sosnowski, PT, DPT, joined Advanced Physical Therapy Center in October 2018. His journey to become a physical therapist began at Michigan State University when he earned his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with high honors, in 2009. Then, he traveled to North Carolina and Duke University to earn his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2013. During that time, he traveled the country for his clinical internships. He’s lived in Portland, Oregon; Atlanta, Georgia; and Indianapolis, Indiana. His first job as a physical therapist was in Baltimore, Maryland. Then, he moved back home to Michigan to work in Farmington.

Jason considers himself a manual, hands-on PT and believes in treating the whole person with a physiosocial approach. He has a passion for throwing and shoulder over-use injuries and enjoys helping people return to playing the sports they love. He’s a professional disc golfer and played baseball and basketball in high school and ran cross country. It’s his love of athletics that helps him relate well to people facing sports injuries. One of Jason’s goals is to make his patients feel comfortable. He takes the time to get to know them and learn about their interests and plans for the future.

Jason is the middle of three brothers. He grew up and still lives in White Lake Township surrounded by a large extended family, mostly in Oakland County. He loves staying active and spending time outdoors. He likes to snowboard in the winter and go camping and boating in the summer. He’s a loyal Spartan sports fan, cheering on his teams any chance he gets.

Jason Sosnowski, PT, DPT | JSosnowski@advpt.com | (810)732-8400

Rebecca Hawkins, PT, DPT, joins Advanced PT, Grand Blanc

Rebecca Hawkins, PT, DPT loves being a physical therapist because “what may seem very small, can make a big difference in someone’s life.”

hawkins_rebecca 12-31-18 bhphotographic dsc_10 (1)Rebecca became inspired to become a PT by watching her mother, who was a Physical Therapist Assistant at Advanced Physical Therapy Center years ago. She received her bachelor’s degree in Health Rehabilitation in 2010 and her doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2013, both from Central Michigan University. She began her professional career at Fowlerville Physical Therapy Specialists and then moved to the Children’s Center for Growth and Development in Hartland where she created the center’s physical therapy program. She arrived at Advanced PT in January 2019.

Rebecca fell in love with helping the pediatric patients at the Children’s Center for Growth and Development and hopes to continue seeing children at Advanced PT. Some of her best memories are watching a child with torticollis sit, walk or roll over for the first time and then, watching their parent’s faces light up. Rebecca is also interested in helping knee and hip replacement patients.

Rebecca believes one of her best assets is the ability to get patients to open up about how they’re really feeling. She calls herself down to earth and easy to talk to and lets the patient dictate each therapy session, allowing for flexibility.

Rebecca was born and raised in Grand Blanc and still calls it home. She’s an avid reader and loves going to the movies. She stays fit by participating in PIYO, which is a combination of Pilates and yoga.

Rebecca Hawkins

10809 S. Saginaw St.

Grand Blanc, MI 48439

(810)695-8700

RHawkins@advpt.com

Richard LaFerney’s Story

RLaFerney Pic

Richard on top of the #1 podium after a Brazilian Jujitsu tournament.

On April 21, 2014, Richard LaFerney’s life changed forever. He suffered a devastating injury and faced years of recovery. But, in the end, Richard would receive a priceless gift for never giving up.

His story begins at an auto shop, where an average day at work suddenly takes a terrible turn. A car, that was accidentally shifted into drive instead of reverse, pins Richard against a steel oil drum. The nerves in his leg were severed; an artery destroyed. After a month in the hospital and countless surgeries, the immediate danger was over and the long road to recovery could begin.

Richard’s first three months of physical therapy at another facility were fruitless. They didn’t have the right equipment or experience to help. Richard became depressed, the pain was excruciating, and he began to think he’d struggle to walk for the rest of his life. Then came a recommendation to try the therapists and cutting-edge technology at Advanced Physical Therapy Center.

Katie, Jessica, Charles, Bret and Brian are just a few of the therapists Richard trusted during his sessions at Advanced PT. The progress was slow, and weeks of therapy turned into months. But soon, it became clear to Richard, he was in the right place. He noticed the pain in his leg was going away, which helped him attack his appointments with new found determination. Richard believes the positive atmosphere and the technology available at Advanced PT, like the HIVAMAT and Alter-G Treadmill, helped him tremendously along the way. Eventually, Richard was able to walk cane-free and now, he’s doing things he never dreamed possible.

At home, Richard’s biggest inspiration is his son, Trent. The battle to recover was all for him. Today, they participate in Brazilian Jujitsu together and Richard even laces up his skates to hit the ice with Trent’s hockey team. While looking around Advanced PT in Grand Blanc, Richard revealed, “Without this, I wouldn’t be a part of my son’s life. I’m available now. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without Advanced PT. I’d still be on the sidelines.” Before his accident, Richard was working 60 to 70 hours a week, which limited his time with Trent. Now, he understands how important that time is. It’s a gift given to him after years of hard work, with a little help from Advanced Physical Therapy Center.

Looking to the future, Richard says his experience at Advanced PT has him thinking about becoming a physical therapist. He wants to be on the other side of recovery now, giving people their lives back.

Karen Mulcahy’s Story

KMulcahy Pic

Susan Hall, PT with Karen

“I am a believer in PT.  If it’s offered to you, you should take it and take as much as you can have. It can only do good. And you’ll meet some really great people in the process, people who will help you on your journey.”

Karen Mulcahy knows all about physical therapy. Advanced Physical Therapy Center has been making a difference in her life for over six years. Her APTC story began when she started having knee trouble. The therapists helped until it became clear, she needed to have her knee replaced. Her first knee replacement surgery was in 2012. It would be her first of three. After each surgery, APTC made her stronger and got her back on her feet. But then, a devastating diagnosis: MRSA. Karen was left with an unthinkable choice. Amputation or risk a worse, possibly deadly infection.

To Karen, the choice was to live, and live a long time. Karen’s right leg was amputated in June of 2016. After the surgery, Karen came back to Advanced Physical Therapy. She had to learn to walk on a prosthesis and build her strength, one more time. Susan Hall, PT, had helped Karen in the past.  “She’s ruthless,” Karen reveals. “She doesn’t let you get by with anything.” But Karen also credits Sue with getting her through the worst of it, each time.

Just as Karen was getting used to her new way of life, her husband had a health scare of his own. In a rush to see him, before he underwent surgery for a heart problem, Karen fell. A broken hip landed her in the hospital bed next to his. He went home a few days later. She went to a rehabilitation facility to recover from a total hip replacement.

In April 2018, Karen came back to APTC. Determined to fight, she started down the tough road to recovery, once again.

On Therapy Days, Karen says, “I’m ready. By the time I get here I’m locked and loaded. Chug, chug, chug to get through therapy. I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I might be tired, but I’ve accomplished something. Sometimes its 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. But you keep going. You have to live your own story. How you choose to do that is totally up to you.”

Karen has tried other therapy centers and has even tried in-home therapy. But, she says nothing compares to APTC. She believes in the therapists and appreciates the variety recovery options available at the Clio clinic. Karen uses the mats and the weights and once she’s completed her doctor prescribed round of therapy sessions, she always follows up with APTC’s “Step Down” program. It provides people like Karen access to APTC’s gym facilities, so she can continue to work on what she learned during her therapist led treatment.

Karen’s prosthetic leg is painted with the message, “What a long strange trip it’s been.” The line, from the Grateful Dead song is one Karen relates to. She says, “I have not walked this path alone. People along the way helped me…Hard things come a long and I shed a lot of tears, but I made it…Now, if I can just continue and get this (hip) healed up. But, I’m not giving up.”

Karen still works with Sue to improve her gait and strengthen her hip. She hopes her story will inspire others to keep pushing, never give up and pay it forward when it’s their turn.

“People say – you are such an inspiration and I could never do what you’ve done. I say – you could, you just don’t know it yet. I didn’t have a choice. I wasn’t going to just sit down and die.”  – Karen Mulcahy, September, 2018

Welcome Kasey Moreno to Advanced Physical Therapy Center

Kasey Moreno, PT, DPT has been in the physical therapy field for over a decade.  She graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a doctoral degree in physical therapy in 2005 and is currently attending Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Manual Medicine Program.  She has several years of clinical management experience as she has served as a clinic director at an outpatient physical therapy clinic previous to coming to Advanced Physical Therapy Center.

moreno_kasey APTC 5-20-2018Kasey has been an athlete most of her life and spent a lot of time in physical therapy due to injuries.  She had her first experience with physical therapy in high school, and that is when her interest in the field began.  “I was in awe of how physical therapists were able to help people get back to the activities they enjoyed and how they helped restore their quality of life.  I knew one day I wanted to do the same,” said Kasey.

Kasey’s clinical focus has been on treating sports-related injuries and conditions, and she loves helping athletes get back to playing their game.  She has a special interest in pre– and post-operative rehabilitation for joint replacements and vestibular rehabilitation for the inner ear and balance.  She has attended several continuing education courses concentrated in sports medicine and manual therapy.  Her additional training includes kinesiology taping and exercise.

When working with patients, Kasey likes to make sure that each individual feels as though she is directing all her attention on them.  “I listen to what my patients say, and I let them know that I hear them,” says Kasey.  She also likes to make sure patients have the tools they need to continue to improve and become the best they can be after physical therapy.

Kasey is originally from Otisville and now lives in Davison with her husband, their son and two dogs.  When she is not busy treating patients, she enjoys spending time with family, playing golf with her husband and watching her son play sports.

If you ask Kasey what she likes about being a physical therapist, she would most likely tell you, “Being a physical therapist is one of the most rewarding professions.  I love being able to take patients out of pain and limitations and get them back to functioning again.  I am proud to say that this is what I do for a living.”

Kasey Moreno, PT, DPT

2138 Fairway Dr.

Davison, MI  48423

(810) 412-5100

KMoreno@advpt.com