Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Many people with muscle weakness are unable to tolerate traditional strengthening exercises. Examples of people who do not respond well to strength training include those recovering from surgeries like joint replacements and ACL reconstruction.  Also, many people with arthritis, tendonitis, diabetes, chronic pain, and COPD have exacerbations exercising with heavy weight.  Blood flow restriction therapy is a new approach that allows people to exercise without pain.

Blood flow restriction
Blood flow restriction therapy during the squat

Blow Flow Restriction: A New Approach to Physical Therapy

Blood flow restriction (BFR) therapy is an exercise method that partially restricts blood flow in the arteries and fully restricts blood flow in the veins of your working muscles. BFR therapy uses a cuff and tourniquet system that applies a safe external pressure to your exercising arms or legs.  There is gradual mechanical compression of the blood flow underneath the cuff.  Restricting blood flow restricts oxygen to your working muscles.   Exercising with limited blood flow to working muscles leads to a series of benefits.

Blood flow restriciton
Smart Cuffs BFR Training Tools

Benefits of BFR Therapy

  1. Increased muscle size and strength
  2. Decreased pain
  3. Increased tendon thickness and strength
  4. Improvements in bone density
  5. Improvements in blood flow to your legs

BFR: A Proven Approach to Physical Therapy

Research on BFR therapy is growing rapidly. Here is a summary of the evidence supporting BFR therapy.

  1. BFR is proven to improve walking ability and speed in adults older than 60.
  2. In athletes, BFR is proven to increase muscle size and strength and also improve sports performance.
  3. Compared to heavy strength training, BFR is proven to increase muscle strength with less pain while exercising in patients with various knee disorders.
  4. BFR is proven to increase strength and decrease pain in patients with knee arthritis and those recovering from surgery.

Schedule An Appointment Today

The physical therapists at BSR are certified to prescribe and administer blood flow restriction therapy. Call our Barnegat clinic at 609.698.1073 and make an appointment with your physical therapist.