Blood Flow Restriction Training

What is Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training?

Blood Flow restriction Training is a technique that uses a cuff to partially occlude blood flow to the working muscles of a limb. The reduced oxygen flow to the muscles results in a number of physiological adaptations which increase muscle size and strength.

Why do we use BFR Training in Physiotherapy?

BFR can be used in a rehabilitation environment where people are unable to exercise at high intensities following injury. BFR will accelerate muscle fatigue and make the muscle work harder. This means you can mimic the effects of high intensity training using significantly lighter loads. This is important in rehabilitation to reduce the overall stress on the recovering limb.

When do we use BFR?

We can use BFR in early rehabilitation to limit muscle atrophy (wasting) and restore/maintain muscle quality. An example of specific injuries where we use BFR are:

  • Muscle Injuries (Quads, Hamstring, Calf)
  • Post operatively (ACL Reconstruction, Achilles Tendon Repair)
  • Tendon Overuse Injuries (Patella and Achilles Tendinopathy)

What is the procedure?

To induce BFR, a pneumatic cuff is placed at the upper most part of the limb and electronically inflated. An individualised Limb Occlusion Pressure (LOP) will then be calculated by the cuff. Training will be prescribed at pressures suited to the individual. A variety of training parameters have been employed in BFR research however, the most common protocol is 30 repetitions followed by 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

Is it Safe?

Clinical research suggests if used appropriately BFR Training is a safe and effective tool for rehabilitation. You will be screened by your physiotherapist prior to using BFR Training in your rehabilitation.

How can I find out more?

Feel free to give us a call on 020 8332 1132 and speak to one of our clinicians about whether Blood flow restriction training is right for you.

Lawton Gate House,
7 Hill Street, Richmond,
London, TW9 1SX

020 8332 1132

clinic@richmondphysio.co.uk