Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training is an exercise method that allows patients to lift much less weight but produce strength gains that are similar to high-weight strength training, due to the blood flow restriction component. BFR can be effective for post surgical patients, patients wanting to increase muscle mass to improve performance [Link to the sports performance page], and has also been shown to reduce muscle atrophy, which is important for patients who cannot exercise.
This treatment is performed by a physical therapist and involves the use of a cuff like a blood pressure cuff. The cuff inflates to the proper amount, as determined by a doppler machine. The patient then exercises as instructed by the physical therapy staff.
During the intake process, a physical therapist will determine if this treatment is appropriate or if there are any excluding factors, such as having a blood clotting disorder. If able to proceed, the physical therapy staff will determine a personal treatment plan that could include strength training exercises and cardiovascular exercises.