Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) is an innovative training method used to develop muscle strength and hypertrophy (muscle growth) during musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Using a cuff to occlude venous blood flow combined with low-load resistance training, BFR induces muscle strength and development by releasing growth hormone as a response to perceived lower oxygen levels.
Traditional resistance training found in the rehabilitation setting requires loads of 70-85% of one-repetition maximum (1RM) to develop muscle strength and hypertrophy. These higher loads could aggravate already irritable tissues delaying the return to sport. BFR has been shown to increase muscle strength and hypertrophy with loads of only 20-35% of 1RM. Less load with the same results!
BFR after ACL Reconstruction
Postsurgical patients experience significant muscle loss due to edema and disuse atrophy. Research has shown significant improvements in the early phases of ACL reconstruction with patients using BFR.
Perioperative Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation in Patients Undergoing ACL Reconstruction: A Systematic Review
Blood Flow Restriction Therapy Preserves Whole Limb Bone and Muscle Following ACL Reconstruction
BFR for Patellofemoral Pain
Quadriceps strengthening with and without blood flow restriction in the treatment of patellofemoral pain: a double-blind randomised trial
BFR for Knee Osteoarthritis
Benefits of Resistance Training with Blood Flow Restriction in Knee Osteoarthritis