Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFRT) is now available at all Axes Physical Therapy locations. This specialized physical therapy technique can be highly effective in assisting patients with gains in muscle strength and hypertrophy via low load resistance training or during aerobic training. Additionally, BFRT can prevent muscle atrophy when used passively.
There has been a lot of buzz recently in the physical therapy world about the use of BFRT during rehabilitation.
What is it?
The technique of Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) includes using a pneumatic tourniquet to apply occlusive pressure to the proximal limb. In doing so, arterial blood flow to the muscles of the limb is partially restricted and venous return is more significantly restricted. This compression results in muscle tissue hypoxia, metabolic stress and mechanical stress within the muscle tissue. Because of the metabolic stress created with occlusion, when applied at rest or during exercise, the result is an increase in muscle hypertrophy and strength gains, even with lower load exercises. This can be especially advantageous for patients recovering from an injury or surgery who are unable to perform higher load resistance exercise.
Is it safe?
Your physical therapist is highly trained in the appropriate application of BFRT, along with indications and contraindications for its use. For certain patient types (those recovering from an injury or surgery) BFRT may serve as a treatment specialty during physical therapy sessions that will allow you to achieve strength improvements earlier in your course of rehab. Your physical therapist will also be in close communication with your physician to discuss whether or not BFRT should be part of your treatment regimen.
If you’ve recently been injured or have undergone surgery and have a referral for physical therapy or BFRT, schedule your appointment at any Axes Physical Therapy location and one of our highly experienced physical therapists will assist in determining the best course of action for you.