KAATSU Protocols For Achilles Tendon Injuries

KAATSU Protocols For Achilles Tendon Injuries

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery

The Achilles tendon is a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. When the tendon is strained, torn or repaired due to surgery, the following KAATSU protocols are recommended:

General Guidelines

  • Always remain well hydrated before and during the entire KAATSU session.
  • Your skin should turn pink or a beefy red or even a hint of purple. This indicates engorgement of blood in your arms or legs.
  • Your skin should not turn white, gray or blue. This indicates the KAATSU Air Bands are too tight and the bands are serving as a tourniquet. KAATSU is not occlusion training. There must be sufficient and regular arterial flow (i.e., blood flow from the torso to the limbs) and only a modified venous flow (i.e., blood flow from the limbs back to the torso) when doing KAATSU.
  • Continue to follow the recommendations of your medical professional and perform the movements as recommended by your physical therapist .
  • You can use the KAATSU Air Bands while doing standard physical therapy.
  • You can do KAATSU twice per day which is especially effective if one session is in the morning hours and another session is closer to bedtime.
  • Keep rest short between sets and exercises while doing KAATSU. Rest 20-30 seconds between sets or 60 seconds between different exercises. This can be modified as necessary.
  • Select physical therapy movements, exercises, or loads that allow you to perform a good number of repetitions (e.g., 30–40 repetitions in first set, 20-30 repetitions in the second set, fewer than 15 repetitions in the third set).
  • Do at least 3 sets of each exercise or movement and then move onto a different exercise.
  • Try to reach maximum effort (or go to muscular or technical failure) within each set.
  • Always start with up to 15 minutes of KAATSU Cycle on your arms and then do up to 20 minutes of KAATSU Cycle on your legs.
  • Always have your Capillary Refill Time fall within 3 seconds with no occlusion or lightheadedness, and no paleness or no numbness in your limbs.
  • Immediately release and remove KAATSU Air Bands if there is any numbness or lightheadedness, or the skin color becomes pale or white. Lie down with the legs elevated if necessary.
  • Never simultaneously put on or use the KAATSU Air Bands on your arms and legs.
  • Do not exceed 15 minutes of KAATSU on your arms or 20 minutes on your legs.
  • Frequently check your Capillary Refill Time and confirm that the color of your limbs remains either pink or beefy red.
  • Your veins may be distended (i.e., popping out) in your forearms during KAATSU.
  • You may feel a slight tingling in your fingers or toes during KAATSU. This indicates that the small capillaries of your hands are fully engorged.
  • KAATSU should be implemented with the understanding of your physician and physical therapist.
  • Higher SKU levels are usually tolerable on your legs compared to your arms in most cases.

KAATSU Protocols for Muscle, Bone, Ligament, and Tendon Recovery

  • Do 3-5 KAATSU Cycles (“Cycle 20”) at your appropriate Base SKU and Optimal SKU, first on your arms (i.e., 8 cycles of 20 seconds on + 5 seconds off).
  • Then do 4-6 KAATSU Cycles at your appropriate Base SKU and Optimal SKU on your legs.
  • You can repeat this twice per day. If you stimulate a hormonal response towards bedtime, your speed of recovery will be enhanced.
  • Additionally, you can also do “Cycle 60” at your appropriate Base SKU and Optimal SKU on your injured leg. That is, apply the KAATSU Air Band only one the leg that is injured or is recovering.
  • The KAATSU Cycle 60 mode is cycles of 60 seconds on followed by 20 seconds off at the Optimal SKU.
  • You can do muscle contractions or simple motions during the KAATSU Cycle 20 and Cycle 60 as desired.