Virtual exercise machine could speed recovery

A University of Prince Edward Island researcher is working a project he believes could improve the recovery time for people coming back from surgery or an injury.
UPEI researcher Jamie Burr tests a machine that could speed recovery from injury or surgery. 1:36

A University of Prince Edward Island researcher is working a project he believes could improve the recovery time for people coming back from surgery or an injury.

Kinesiology Professor Jamie Burr is testing a device that restricts blood flow and sends mild electrical currents to people's muscles. He predicts those using it will ultimately strengthen their muscles without ever having to actually move.

Burr told CBC News if his theory proves true it could have wide-ranging implications.

"Perhaps somebody that's recovering from a surgery, for example," he said.

"We know one of the most important things is to get moving as soon as possible.  Sometimes it's impossible. You're actually immobilized, not allowed to leave the hospital or get out of your bed. Theoretically, the doctor could come in, hook you up with this kind of thing, and start you on the road to recovery before you've even woken up from the surgery."

Burr and a team of researchers are testing the device over the summer on a group of volunteers, monitoring their strength and ability to recover from strenuous exercise.

Burr received $25,000 from the province to help pay for the research.

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