Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Therapy

What is Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Therapy?

Blood flow restriction (BFR) is a safe and effective way to increase muscle strength and size. It can be used as a rehabilitation tool to minimize joint strain. BFR is safer than high-weight training for post-surgical patients. The most common side effect is bruising around the restriction site.

BFR training combines low intensity exercise with blood flow occlusion to produce similar results to high intensity training. It can help injured athletes enhance their performance and strengthen the recovering limb with less load and stress on the body.

BFR training works by maintaining arterial flow while restricting venous return. This creates a build-up of deoxygenated blood in the muscle that leads to cell swelling and creates a hypoxic (low oxygen) state. Muscle hypertrophy can be observed within a 3 week period, but most studies advocate for longer training durations of more than 3 weeks.

Biological Effects and Benefits of BFR Training:

What can BFR Training be used to Treat:

How does it work?

The idea of “no pain, no gain” isn’t too far off from what science tells us about the process of muscle growth, or muscle hypertrophy. When you strength train, you change the environment inside your muscles and this activates muscle hypertrophy. Blood flow restriction (BFR) training is a technique that involves wearing pressurized bands around the arms or legs to slow blood flow to specific muscles during training. The bands, which look similar to blood pressure cuffs, reduce, but not completely occlude, blood flow. The bands trick the body into thinking it's working harder than it is. This causes the muscles to work harder to pump blood back to the heart. The result is muscle hypertrophy, or swelling of the muscles. BFR training can allow a person to exercise with lower intensity, but still have the benefits of high-intensity training. Multiple studies have found that when using BFR in conjunction with low resistance exercise, blood lactate levels are significantly higher than control groups.

Muscle Growth Happens Through:

With BFR training, blood still comes into your muscles via your arteries. The use of the band, however, blocks it from leaving through your veins. This restriction of normal blood flow allows your muscles to experience swelling, fatigue and oxygen depletion more quickly.

It creates the same muscle environment that regular strength training does — but while using less weight and working at a lower intensity, muscle hypertrophy takes place because your body has been tricked into thinking it’s working harder than it is.

Here’s another way to look at it: Your muscle reacts to a small load as if it’s much larger using BFR training. It recruits the fast-twitch muscle fibers that you normally only use for lifting a strenuous amount of weight or lifting weight quickly. Those kinds of muscle fibers bulk up more quickly.

Note from the Cleveland Clinic

The Cleveland Clinic says that blood flow restriction (BFR) training can be used as a supplement to normal training or recovery. BFR training can: Increase muscle size faster than regular training alone Lead to the same lifting gains as regular training using 20% to 30% less weight or reps Have less impact on tendons and joints during lifting Prevent muscle loss in people who are immobile

Current Research

Frequently Asked Questions

Blood Flow Restriction Treatment can be uncomfortable/intense.

Treatment can last anywhere from 5-10 minutes per exercise training.

Typically patients may expect some soreness the initial 2-4 days.

You may continue all normal activities post treatment, depending on how you are feeling, as you may feel fatigued/soreness in the treated muscles.

You may do light exercise/stretching prescribed by your Doctor of Physical Therapy. The use of heat, bath/epsom salt bath, and hydration is recommended.

Your doctor will properly evaluate you to rule out any contraindications for performing this treatment.

Blood Flow Restriction Treatment is covered under insurance. We have self pay prices as well if we do not accept your insurance. Please call (478) 960-7077 for more information!

The Blood Flow Restriction Treatment is performed by our expert Doctors of Physical Therapy who have undergone extensive training.

This is something your doctor will go over with you once they have evaluated you.

You will have access to our Doctors post treatment and may ask to speak to them directly, post treatment.

MVP Physio Dr. is located at 1645 Forest Hill Rd, Suite 105, Macon, GA 31210.

Please call, (478) 960-7077, and either Meghan or Chloe will get you taken care of, answer any questions you may have, and get you scheduled.

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