Blood Flow Restriction Therapy
Recovering from orthopedic surgery can be difficult, especially for those with limited mobility and strength due to age, severity of injury, or other limitations. At Evolution Physical Therapy, we offer blood flow restriction therapy or training (BFRT) to help patients make greater strength gains in their arms and legs while lifting lighter loads.
Where Can I Get Blood Flow Restriction Therapy?
Patients can take advantage of BFRT at any of our physical therapy locations across the US. Find your nearest clinic to schedule an appointment for your therapy today!
What is Blood Flow Restriction Therapy?
BFRT is a form of exercise that manipulates the body’s circulatory system. BFR therapy utilizes pneumatic bands to allow arterial blood flow but reduces venous return to create an optimal anabolic environment for muscular hypertrophy while exercising.
Arterial flow is not occluded with this procedure and the arteries continue to feed the limb’s blood flow during the treatment session. The bands are inflated to individualized pressures prescribed by our clinical guidelines. Once the safe pressures have been established by the clinician, the patient will be put through a series of individualized exercises.
Simple, low-load exercises produce profound muscle “burn” comparable to intense anaerobic training.
This strong fatigue triggers the body to release hormones, such as human growth hormone (HGH). This then produces muscle hypertrophy (an increase of muscle cells and strength) comparable to heavy exercise or traditional weight lifting. The hormones circulating in the bloodstream benefit all areas of the body that are working, thereby creating a systemic benefit.
Benefits of Blood Flow Restriction Therapy
BFR training is relatively new to physical therapy, but patients who cannot lift heavy weights and struggle with atrophy have already shown positive results from this technique. BFRT is typically used as part of a larger treatment plan, and it offers many benefits, such as:
- Improve strength and hypertrophy after surgery
- Increase strength with lighter loads
- Improve muscle protein synthesis in older people
- Increase growth hormone responses
- Improve muscle activation and endurance
Who Should Consider Blood Flow Restriction Therapy?
Not all patients are candidates for Blood Flow Restriction therapy. Certain health conditions are contraindicated for this treatment. Your physical therapist will determine if BFRT is appropriate and indicated for your condition. BFRT is best utilized for the following:
- Recovery after rotator cuff, ACL reconstruction, or other surgeries
- Sports-related injuries
- Injuries from a car or other type of accident
- Chronic conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis
BFRT and Rehabilitation
Not only can BFR training improve performance, but it’s a very safe and effective tool to use with the rehabilitation of injuries in a physical therapy setting. Often, patients can be limited for several weeks due to restricted motion, muscle suppression or their weight-bearing status. During this time, traditional early phase strengthening programs can plateau with their effectiveness. By adding BFR to the early stages of rehab, we can get the same effect as heavy load weight lifting without stressing the healing structures.
This type of exercise is also great for healthy aging patient populations with advancing osteoarthritis. BFRT allows these patients to exercise at low intensities while creating an environment where the body believes it is working at higher intensities so that muscular hypertrophy pathways are activated. It provides a perfect scenario for rehabilitation.
Learn More About Blood Flow Restriction Therapy at Your Nearest Evolution Location
Our doctors of physical therapy have years of experience in BFR training and will create a treatment plan best suited to your unique needs. Contact us today for more information!
We’re Making People Move Again
Evolution Physical Therapy is your trusted source for high-quality, personalized therapy and training for all your sports medicine and performance needs. Explore our reviews below to see what other patients have to say about us!