Rebuilding strength after an injury often requires a delicate approach because it is easy to put too much strain on an injured joint. Overloading things just leads to setbacks, and that is why methods of building strength with lower weight loads can help. One of those methods is called blood flow restriction training.
What Is Blood Flow Restriction Training
BFR training, which is also sometimes called occlusion training, is a form of physical training that partially blocks blood flow to the limbs at work. A cuff or tourniquet is used to partially obstruct blood flow to the limb being exercised, which results in some pooling of the blood in the muscles of that limb. This leads to faster muscle growth through an effect called hypertrophy, and can be useful in rebuilding muscle mass and strength when used under the right controlled conditions.
BFR training was a novel approach with a small but vocal base of support until not very long ago, but it is quickly becoming a regular feature of many physical therapy practices. If you search for physical therapy clinics near me, you will probably find more than one that offers BFR training.
When Is Blood Flow Restriction Training Used
BFR’s biggest advantage is the ability to quickly build muscle while placing a lower weight load on the limbs. That helps avoid strain and injury, so it is particularly useful in situations where injuring or re-injuring the muscle is a significant risk. That includes post-injury rehabilitation as well as strength training for conditions like arthritis and rheumatological conditions that affect joint strength. If you search for a physical therapist near me who offers BFR training, those patients will probably be the ones mentioned most often.
BFR is not only used in rehabilitation environments, though. In athletic training it is sometimes used to make gains quickly during strength-building phases too. If you are seeking BFR training as a form of rehabilitation training, it is important to make sure you are working with a physical therapist and not a personal trainer. There are risks to using it as an athletic performance enhancer, but when used under the right protocols it is very effective for rehabilitation.
Are There Any Restrictions on the Use of BFR Training?
There are some medical conditions that contraindicate this kind of training, even for short-term rehabilitation. That is why it is always important to work with a physical therapist when attempting to regain strength with this kind of specialized technique. Some examples of conditions that would rule out BFR and indicate a different approach is best include:
Some of these conditions rule out BFR training immediately, but for others it depends on the severity of the issue. Sometimes, it is safe to proceed with monitoring. If you have any conditions that affect circulatory health or blood pressure, it is a good idea to have a frank discussion with both your doctor and your physical therapist about the best way forward.
Find a Physical Therapy Clinic
If you have been looking for a way to rebuild after an injury, it’s time to look at options under physical therapist near me in your local search results. Get started today.