Journal of Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine

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Research Article - Journal of Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine (2023) Volume 7, Issue 4

Acute Effects of a Novel, Calf-Only External Pneumatic Compression Device on Measures of Lower-Limb Blood Flow, Blood Volume and Tissue Oxygenation

Background: We sought to determine the effects of a novel, calf-only sequential dynamic External Pneumatic Compression (EPC) device on lower limb blood flow and tissue oxygenation.

Methods: Thirty (N=30; EPC=20, sham=10) participants completed this randomized, shamcontrolled, single-visit study. Popliteal artery blood flow characteristics were measured prior to (PRE; 30-s duration), during (TRT; 210-s duration) and following (PST: 300-s duration) a 15-min EPC (target inflation pressure of ‘5’) or sham treatment. Additionally, Total Hemoglobin (THb) and Skeletal Muscle Oxygenation (SmO2) were measured continuously from the start of the study until 15-min following treatment.

Results: A significant group*time interaction was observed for antegrade and retrograde popliteal artery blood flow, max blood flow velocity and near infrared spectroscopy derived measures of calf THb and SmO2 (p<0.05 for all). Increases from PRE in antegrade (~28%) and retrograde popliteal artery blood flow (~95%) were significantly greater during EPC treatment, but not following treatment, compared to sham. Calf THb (~2%) and SmO2 (~10%) increases were significantly greater with EPC treatment compared to sham following treatment, but not during treatment. Finally, max blood flow velocity was significantly increased to a greater degree than sham both during (~105%) and following (~77%) EPC treatment.

Conclusion: A novel, calf-only sequential dynamic EPC device increases measures of antegrade and retrograde blood flow during treatment as well as blood volume and tissue oxygenation markers following treatment which may provide similar benefit to those observed previously with full-leg EPC alternatives.

Author(s): Gabriel K. Morales, Jessica T. Bui, Joseph M. Steinhauer, Rachel L. Hickman, Jeffrey S. Martin*

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