With the most certified sports specialists in the region dedicated to treating athletes, Parkview Athletic Rehabilitation is on the cutting edge of physical therapy treatment and technology – including blood flow restriction therapy.
What is blood flow restriction therapy?
Blood flow restriction (BFR) training is a new physical therapy technique used in both rehabilitation and performance training that increases strength without the stress of loading heavy weight on the body.
Simply put, it allows you to increase muscle strength and size while training at 20-30% of maximum intensity. It has gained popularity among both rehabilitation professionals and high-level athletes because of its significant benefits to rehabilitating and healthy athletes.
Contact us at 260-266-4007 to try blood flow restriction training today.
BFR therapy is available at all seven Parkview Therapy Services orthopedic physical therapy and Parkview Athletic Rehabilitation locations.
Benefits of blood flow restriction therapy
The benefits of BFR have been widely studied within the physical therapy community. When an athlete is in a rehabilitation program, therapists spend time and effort to regain muscle strength and size that may have been lost during the recovery process. Because they’re not fully healthy yet, it may be unsafe to lift at the intensity required to build that muscle.
BFR training allows the athlete to exercise at a lower intensity while still increasing strength and muscle growth without stressing the injured area. It also helps patients heal more quickly through increasing collagen synthesis and bone-healing factors.
BFR training has the same effect in healthy athletes looking to increase muscle strength and size with a lower risk of injury than high-intensity weightlifting.
How does blood flow restriction therapy work?
In BFR therapy, a pressurized cuff connected to a blood flow restriction unit is placed on the proximal portion (closer to the body) of an arm or leg. The cuff tightens, completely restricting blood flow in the veins and partially restricting the oxygenated blood flow in the arteries of that muscle as patients perform low-intensity exercise – typically 20-30% of their highest output.
By restricting the oxygen levels in the blood of the muscle, it increases the growth of fast-twitch muscle fibers. This leads to increased lactate production and increased growth hormone. Increased growth hormone allows muscles to synthesize protein more effectively and leads to increased muscle size and growth.
BFR training also decreases the effectiveness of the myostatin gene that limits muscle production, increases protein synthesis pathways and allows for muscular cell swelling.
Parkview Athletic Rehabilitation and Parkview TherapyONE therapists use Delfi® PTS Personalized Tourniquet Systems for Blood Flow Restriction – the highest-quality units in the industry. These units are specifically designed to be used for blood flow restriction training and provide better results than any other method of restricting blood flow.
Is blood flow restriction therapy safe?
In general, blood flow restriction training is as safe or safer than high-intensity exercise. Your body reacts to BFR similar to high-intensity training, so you’re getting the same benefits without the risk of injury you may have with high-intensity training.
You should not use BFR therapy if you:
- Have severe high blood pressure
- Have a blood clotting disorder
- Have active cancer
- Have impaired circulation
- Have sickle cell anemia
- Have had a lymphectomy
- Have an open fracture or soft tissue injury
Blood flow restriction training should only be performed with FDA-approved equipment under the supervision of a trained therapist. Parkview Athletic Rehabilitation and Parkview TherapyONE physical therapists are certified and trained in blood flow restriction therapy.
Who should use blood flow restriction therapy?
One of the best things about BFR therapy is that it’s beneficial for all athletes, injured or healthy. It helps rebuild muscle mass while recovering from injury and also increases muscle mass as part of healthy training.
BFR training is especially popular with CrossFit athletes and other athletes that train at extremely high intensity because of the increased muscle strength and growth at a much lower intensity level.
BFR is also great for runners and can be used in cardiovascular exercise to increase VO2 max and vascular performance.
Blood flow restriction can be used with nearly any exercise. Plyometrics should be avoided while using BFR therapy, but it can be coupled with many other exercises. Our state-of-the-art athletic facilities give you the athletic space and the equipment - along with our expert therapists - you need to use BFR effectively.
Where can I get blood flow restriction therapy?
BFR therapy is available at all Parkview Therapy Services orthopedic physical therapy locations and Parkview Athletic Rehabilitation locations, including clinics at Parkview Huntington Hospital and Parkview Noble Hospital.
Orthopedic physical therapy locations
11130 Parkview Circle
Parkview Regional Medical Center campus,
Fort Wayne, IN 46845
5050 N. Clinton Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
10515 Illinois Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46814
Ash Skyline Plaza
838 South Harrison Street
inside the Skyline YMCA
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
5680 YMCA Park Drive West
inside the Lehman YMCA
Fort Wayne, IN 46835
12124 Lima Road
inside Empowered Sports Club
Fort Wayne, IN 46818
200 Intertech Parkway
inside Ball Sports Academy
Angola, IN 46703
Parkview Athletic Rehabilitation locations
SportONE/Parkview Fieldhouse | Entrance 2
3946 Ice Way
Fort Wayne, IN 46808
Empowered Sports Club
12124 Lima Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46818