Blood Flow Restriction Training Benefits
Does your physical therapist utilize Blood Flow Restriction Training?
The origins of Blood Flow Restriction training (BFR) dates back to the mid-1960s in Japan from a practice known as Kaatsu Training. However, in recent years, has gained popularity in the performance and rehabilitation world.
So what is Blood Flow Restriction (BFR)?
BFR at its simplest form is the partial occlusion or blocking of arterial blood flow to and the complete occlusion or blocking of venous return from the working tissues that are distal to the cuff. Muscle breakdown and subsequent growth/hypertrophy occurs via two different mechanisms: mechanical tension and metabolic stress. Mechanical tension we get from our heavier loads/higher intensity movements. Metabolic stress comes more from the accumulation of metabolites, most notably, lactate which is key to triggering muscle protein synthesis.
Why do we care?
Due to the occlusion/blocking of venous return, BFR essentially fast tracks metabolic stress allowing for the accumulation of metabolites at less mechanical load/tension.
So what’s the relevance of all this nerdy physiology jargon?
This means that we can make gains in muscle size (hypertrophy), strength, and some studies even suggest, endurance of the targeted tissues at a much lower load. This makes for a great intervention when load might be contraindicated (i.e. injuries, post-operative). With BFR, we can minimize the losses, provide maintenance, or in many cases make gains in the muscle without having to lift heavy.
Blood Flow Restriction Training at Total Sports Therapy
Total Sports Therapy utilizes Blood Flow Restriction as a therapeutic technique to assist in injury recovery. Contact any one of our 4 Valley locations to learn more about what Blood Flow Restriction Training can do and if it is right for you.
Have you experienced Blood Flow Restriction Training before? Be sure to drop your thoughts and questions in the comments section.