Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

What is Blood Flow Restriction Training?

Blood Flow Restriction Training is a new physical therapy technique used in both rehabilitation and performance training that increases strength without the stress of weight-bearing on the body. Blood flow restriction training allows you to increase muscle strength and size while training at 20-30% of maximum intensity.

How does Blood Flow Restriction Training work?

Blood Flow Restriction therapy uses the application of external pressure over the extremities via a cuff or band to partially restrict venous blood flow while maintaining arterial inflow. This process creates a low-oxygen environment in the muscles, leading to metabolic stress, which drives muscle growth and strength gains. This therapy induces a hormonal response, including growth hormone production, enhances neuromuscular adaptation, and leads to rapid muscle fatigue and recovery. The goal of Blood Flow Restriction Therapy enables patients to make greater strength gains while lifting lighter loads, thereby reducing the overall stress placed on the limb.

The Benefits of Blood Flow Restriction

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training can be a great rehabilitation tool because it allows patients to reap the benefits of an intense heavy weight-lifting session while only requiring the patient to perform low-to moderate-intensity training. This reduces stress to tissues that may be healing from a recent injury or surgery. The following are physical changes that can occur secondary to Blood Flow Restriction Training:

  • Improved muscular strength
  • Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Prevention of muscular atrophy
  • Development of newer and healthier blood vessels
  • Improved bone mineral density