Health Watch: Blood flow restriction training

27 August 2021

“I’m Justin Feeser from Monument Health rehab and sports medicine for the Northern Hills. Today I would like to introduce and briefly talk about a somewhat new and novel treatment approach, blood flow restriction training, BFR is a treatment technique that utilizes a specialized electronic tourniquet that restricts blood flow in an arm or leg. During this section, this specific and individualized pressure is determined and then maintained on the limb while a specifically chosen exercise is done with predetermined reps and rest periods. This usually only lasts 5 to 8 minutes and performed with very light weights which is why it is a very useful treatment for any people. Many individuals we see daily have limitations and precautions associated with injuries, surgery, or disease process that would make traditional strength training difficult or even impossible to perform. with BFR we can work with much lower intensities and still see significant improvements in function and performance. Research has shown that using BFR and exercising as low as 20% of an individual’s maximal strength can produce an increase in muscle strength that is similar to traditional strength training that requires lifting loads that are 65-80% of maximal strength. It has shown that BFR doesn’t cause damage to muscular tissue that requires healing and remodeling that normal strength training does, but rather the effects are secondary to an anaerobic or without oxygen strength and this causes increase muscle strength fiber recruitment as well as hormonal and metabolic effects that can help promote increased bone and tendon healing improved endurance and muscle size and strength.”