Many of the patients in our physical therapy clinic are unable to carry big weights due to discomfort, immobility, or surgery. Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training is a useful rehabilitation therapy because it allows patients to get the advantages of a hard weight-lifting session while only requiring low-to moderate-intensity exercise. This relieves pressure on tissues that are recovering from an accident or surgery. During BFR training, a patient or athlete does high repetitions of a specific activity while wearing a band or cuff that provides mild resistance around their upper arm or upper leg. Physical changes that can occur as a result of Blood Flow Restriction Training include:
Muscle strength has improved.
Muscle cross-sectional area increased
muscle atrophy prevention
Newer, healthier blood vessels are being developed.
BFR bands are put near one’s upper arms and/or upper legs during elastic BFR training. It’s worth noting that elastic BFR bands don’t completely block arterial blood flow (oxygen-rich blood traveling from the heart to the limbs), making them safe for most individuals. The return of venous blood (oxygen-deficient blood going from the limbs back to the heart) is somewhat restricted by elastic BFR bands. The muscles have to work considerably harder to return the blood to the heart!
BFR routines alternate between activity and rest. BFR exercises alternate between times of exertion and intervals of relaxation. Blood is quickly moved from our heart to our arteries, limbs, veins, and back to the heart during periods of exertion. The elastic BFR bands are similar to dams.
To pump venous blood through the BFR bands and back to the heart, the muscles in the leg must work much harder.
This dam effect disrupts homeostasis at the cellular level, resulting in decreased oxygen levels in muscle cells, acidic muscle cells, and other alterations that cause the muscles to tire fast, exactly as they would with heavyweights.
The muscle cells can then recover during the periods of rest, but with elastic BFR, it is critical that the bands remain on and inflated during these periods of rest to maximize the systemic advantages of BFR.
How the Brain Responds to Changing Oxygen Levels:
BFR Training allows your body to experience moments of fast blood circulation where oxygen is circulating throughout your whole circulatory system, similar to heavy weight lifting. Our bodies notice a shortage of oxygen in our limbs, and our central nervous system alerts our brain that our limbs “aren’t receiving enough oxygen.” It’s critical to realize that the lower oxygen levels our bodies experience are just brief, safe, and necessary for BFR to function.
Our brain sends an “alarm” to our endocrine system when it receives the word that less oxygen is readily circulating. The endocrine system is comprised of glands that secrete hormones into circulation.
When you use BFR, your brain’s anterior pituitary gland releases growth hormone, which aids with muscle cell reproduction, regeneration, and lipolysis (fat breakdown). 2 The release of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is also stimulated by the BFR alert, which is critical for muscular hypertrophy, muscle and bone growth, and DNA synthesis control. 2
How Your Limbs Respond to Changing Oxygen Levels
Our arms and legs also detect the body’s temporary absence of normal oxygen levels on a local level. Two things happen as a result of this: our rapid twitch muscle fibers are trained, and our muscle cells are rejuvenated.
Because our limbs are deprived of oxygen, our muscles exhaust more rapidly, allowing us to exercise our “anaerobic, fast-twitch” muscles. To run faster and jump higher, you’ll need three anaerobic, quick-twitch muscles. Calves, quads, hamstrings, biceps, triceps, and other muscles that may be important in your recovery are among them.
Protein synthesis is aided by a shortage of oxygen at the cellular level. 1,2,5 Muscle healing and strength are dependent on protein synthesis.
Making Rehabilitation Gains at a Faster Rate:
When comparing heavy, high-intensity exercise to mild to moderate-intensity exercise with BFR, several studies have revealed similar physiological effects. Lifting high weights is beneficial for muscular development and hypertrophy, but it is not always practicable after surgery since it might be unpleasant or put too much stress on wounded tissue.
BFR training tricks our brain and limbs into thinking they’re working harder than they are when lifting light to moderate weights and working at a moderate intensity. 3 What’s more, compared to traditional rehabilitative exercise, BFR Training allows us to reach these physiological advantages faster. 4,5 Finally, BFR training aids our patients in resuming their typical movement patterns and activities!
Blood flow restriction (BFR) services are provided by qualified doctors at certain Athletico clinics. If you’d like to learn more about BFR or Athletico’s partnership with B-Strong, a blood flow restriction (BFR) training firm, visit our website and watch a video. If you’d like to schedule an appointment and include BFR into your therapy, please use the button below to do so.
Fitness Gym Equipment BFR Occlusion Bands Bodybuilding Weightlifting Wrap for Biceps Blood Flow Restriction Training
Color: blue, red (can be customized other colors)
Size: length 60cm, width 5cm
Material: natural latex wire elastic band
Weight: about 160g
Package includes: 1 pair (2) muscle blood flow occlusion training belt