A vital part of most physical therapy treatment routines is therapeutic exercising. The goal is to improve the strength and flexibility of your muscles, which provides a variety of benefits, including:
- Improved coordination
- Improved range of motion
- Improved support for the bones and joints
- Reduced chances of injury
To improve your muscular strength through exercise, you traditionally have to train with resistance to push your muscles beyond their limits. However, with certain conditions and injuries, it can be risky for you to exercise using traditional methods of weight resistance.
Fortunately, there is a method known as blood flow restriction (BFR) training that can help improve your muscular strength without relying on high load resistance.
What is BFR training?
BFR training is a technique that uses a pressure cuff to gently compress the targeted muscle in an exercise. While compressed under the pressure cuff, the muscle can still receive blood from the main artery supply, but blood is partially restricted from leaving the veins in the muscle.
Partially restricting the blood flow from leaving your veins causes a swelling effect of the muscle. This causes a build-up of metabolites, such as lactic acid, which helps to stimulate muscle growth and force the nervous system to engage the muscle fibers that have a higher capacity for rapid growth.
What are the benefits of BFR training?
The goal of BFR training is to stimulate muscle growth similar to what is achieved with high resistance training but without any of the actual high resistance. BFR training has many benefits, including:
- Increased muscle size
- Increased muscle strength
- Increased cardiovascular capacity
- Decreased joint and soft tissue stress
- Minimal or no muscle damage
- Minimal soreness
- Reduced recovery time
Who needs BFR training?
BFR training can benefit a variety of patients, ranging from those with conditions that cause chronic pain to those who need help recovering from injuries, such as an ACL tear or a fractured bone.
BFR training is a safe method of treatment, but it may not be right for everybody. Patients who bruise easily or have nerve pain that may be triggered by compression might not be good candidates for BFR training.
Our physical therapists at Armor Physical Therapy are highly trained in examining your condition and determining which treatments are right for you. Your physical therapist will be able to determine if BFR training is safe for you and whether it will be included in your personalized treatment routine.
Contact Armor Physical Therapy today to discover how BFR training can benefit you
Are you ready to get the help you need to recover from muscle and joint pain so you can get back to enjoying your favorite activities? Our team is here to help. Contact us today for more information about BFR training or to schedule an initial appointment for treatment.