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Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFR)

What Is BFR?

BFR is the act of safely restricting blood flow from a working muscle with the use of a tourniquet system. This forces the body to activate all muscles on the limb where the blood flow is being restricted through low intensity resistance training. Since the ability of that blood to escape is dramatically reduced, metabolic stress and cellular swelling are greatly increased. As a result, increased growth hormone, muscle hypertrophy, and muscle strength occur.

BFR is a game changer in the world of rehab! Before, it would take weeks, if not months, for an injured athlete or post-op patient to begin applying forces equal to 70-80% of their 1 rep max. BFR enables the patient to get those same results, but at 30-40% of their 1 rep max. While minimizing atrophy, BFR allows the return of power, endurance, and functional performance in a fraction of the time it used to take.

What type of patients benefit?

BFR can be used on almost any upper body or lower body limb. We can use it with surgical or non-surgical patients to help with their recovery by decreasing pain without increasing the stress on your injured area.

What to expect during BFR treatment?

The cuff is similar to a blood pressure cuff that is put on either your upper arm or upper thigh. Based on the individual, we will calculate the specific amount of pressure needed for each treatment. While the pressure is on, patients will perform specific exercises the Physical Therapist has chosen. The goal is to tire the injured area in order to stimulate the body’s natural healing and building capabilities. Patients may experience limb fatigue 20-30 minutes after their treatment session and/or muscle soreness 1-3 days after their session.

Performance Physical Therapy has certified Physical Therapists to apply proper use of both the SmartCuff and Owen’s Science Recovery System. We would love the opportunity to provide you with a faster and more complete recovery using their techniques.