The Benefits of Blood Flow Restriction
Many patients in our physical therapy clinic are unable to lift heavy weights – sometimes because of pain, immobilization, or because of surgery. 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. During BFR training, a patient or athlete performs high repetitions of a particular exercise while wearing a band or cuff around their upper arm or upper leg with use of light resistance. The following are physical changes that can occur secondary to Blood Flow Restriction Training:
Knee pain can be a very troublesome nuisance to a majority of the population; whether knees are sore from a long day of activity or have been persistently sore from those glory days long ago. Knee pain can affect quality of life in many different ways including decreasing activity levels, making it uncomfortable to maintain certain postures for prolonged periods of time, or making it bothersome to go up and down stairs at home. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is among the common knee-related conditions affecting quality of life – especially in the older population. In fact, knee OA is present in nearly 40 percent of individuals older than 60.
Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) is a hot topic in physical therapy right now. Even though it has been around since the 1960s, there has recently been a surge in BFR research that supports how this technique can improve patient outcomes.