Blood Flow Restriction Training
A new and exciting treatment.
Blood flow restriction training (BFR) is a new approach that can be added to an orthopedic rehabilitation program. It is used more frequently in higher-level rehabilitation settings, like the military or professional athletics. But with Highbar, we bring this new and exciting treatment to you!
A tourniquet is applied to the patient’s leg or arm and inflates to their individualized pressure that will create the best environment for muscle growth. While the patient performs low-level exercises, the tourniquet will continue to stay inflated, which causes the muscles to fatigue quickly. The patient will feel a burning sensation, just like with any heavy lifting activity. Their limbs will swell and turn red due to the veins swelling. Then, the tourniquet deflates between exercises to allow the patient rest.
The physical therapist will monitor the patient’s blood pressure and circulation to ensure their body is working at an optimal level for a safe and fast recovery. Sessions are typically 30-minutes to an hour and are done in conjunction with a patient’s physical therapy treatment plan.
This treatment is helpful for patients who are recovering from surgery or unable to tolerate high-intensity training. It can also be beneficial for:
Blood Flow Restriction allows physical therapists to prescribe resisted exercises that result in muscle growth without the stress on the muscle that traditional resistance training requires. In order to achieve increased muscle growth, traditional exercise requires the use of 70-85% of the maximum lifting ability, whereas research has proven that BFR only requires about 20-35%.
This tool is particularly useful with patients that may have lifting precautions due to surgery or other injury factors. It allows the therapists to use low-load exercises to achieve increased strength gains and muscle growth, all without the risk of overstressing a muscle, joint, or ligament.
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