Blood flow restriction (BFR) training is achieved through the application of external pressure over the extremities. The applied pressure is sufficient to suppress venous circulation from the occlusion site but not so substantial as to prevent arterial circulation to the occlusion site. Consequently, metabolites and byproducts of fatigue that normally would be shuttled out of the muscle via venous circulation accumulate thereby rendering a given workload more arduous than it would otherwise be. BFR allows one to make greater strength gains while utilizing lighter loads. Lighter loads create less limb stress. Reducing limb stress is especially important in post surgical scenarios where pain and tissue damage limit the intensity of loading. While BFR is not a substitute for normal training, it can expedite recovery from injury when employed strategically.

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What is blood flow restriction therapy?

Blood flow restriction therapy uses occlusion cuffs that decrease venous return during exercise. This occlusion elicits physiological adaptations at lower exercise intensities than would otherwise be needed.

How safe is blood flow restriction therapy?

When conducted after a thorough screening process, BFR is safe and well tolerated.

Does blood flow restriction therapy work for older people?

Provided they dont have any contraindications (e.g. circulatory issues, bruising/wounds near the cuff site) to the therapy, yes.

Does insurance cover blood flow restriction therapy?

Depending on ones policy, BFR is covered under therapeutic exercise.

How many blood flow therapy sessions will I need?

It depends on the injury and rehabilitation protocol.

Can I return to work right after a therapy session?

BFR typically does not leave much of a hangover so if you were working prior to the session, BFR will not prevent you from immediately returning to work.

Who is the best candidate for blood flow restriction therapy?

BFR is typically utilized in post surgical patients that dont tolerate intense loading. Think of it as a way to make easier exercises more difficult and effective.

Are there any risks with blood flow restriction therapy?

No treatment is without risk but provided a proper screening is conducted beforehand, the risks associated with BFR are minimal.

What can I expect during a blood flow restriction therapy session?

Expect to feel pressure from the cuff. You will also fatigue faster than you typically do during exercise.