At Suburban Physical Therapy in Brecksville, Ohio, we offer a wide range of therapeutic services. One of the more recent additions to our menu of rehabilitative options is blood flow restriction (BFR) training.
What is Blood Flow Restriction Training?
BFR training is a strategy that involves the use of smart cuffs (bands) placed around a patient’s limb during exercise. The purpose is to maintain arterial inflow to the affected muscle while preventing venous return (aka venous occlusion) – a condition in which the vein becomes narrow, blocked, or pinched.
The lack of venous return during BFR training creates a swelling effect of the muscle in which metabolites accumulate, and this stimulates muscle growth. Also, blood flow restriction creates a hypoxic (deprivation of oxygen to tissue) environment that promotes strength and muscle growth.
Direct muscle fatigue forces the nervous system to engage the largest fast-twitch muscle fibers, which have the greatest capacity for growth. It also increases growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).
Benefits of BFR Training
- Hypertrophy (increased muscle size)
- Increased muscle strength
- Increased cardiovascular capacity
- Decreased joint/tissue stress
- Little to no muscle damage
- Little to no needed recovery
- Minimal, if any, soreness, or delayed-onset muscular soreness
- Low intensity (resistance or cardio)
BFR training is beneficial for patients who are bedridden, in a cast, elderly, or undergoing rehabilitation following surgery. It also provides active recovery, decreased joint/tissue loads, and isolated exercise for “weak link” regions of the body in athletes.
Injury resulting from BFR rehab is rare; but when it is inappropriately implemented, risks include subcutaneous (under-skin) hemorrhage and numbness. This is why patients should always consult their physician prior to engaging in any new exercise or therapy program such as BFR training.
To Relieve Pain and Restore Your Range of Motion, Call Our Physical Therapists in Twinsburg, OH
BFR training is just one of the many innovative ways in which our team at Suburban Physical Therapy can help relieve your pain and restore your range of motion. To schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapy team members, please call our Brecksville office at (440) 746-1730. Or, if you prefer, use our online Request an Appointment form.
We may be able to accommodate a same-day appointment, so please call the office of your choice if you’d like to be seen today.