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Blood Flow Restriction Therapy 

What is Blood Flow Restriction Therapy?

How Blood Flow Restriction Therapy Works

BFR therapy uses a medical-grade tourniquet to limit the blood flow to muscles, resulting in an environment that forces larger, faster muscles to fire. This stimulates a high-intensity training workout for those with pain or post-surgical restrictions and/or weakness who would otherwise not tolerate the intensity of the workout.

Current research shows that the use of blood flow restriction with low-intensity training can result in up to a 20% increase in muscle growth over a 6-week program. This is statistically like high load training, but with significantly less stress to joints and healing bodies.

Who Benefits from Blood Flow Restriction Therapy?



Blood Flow Restriction Equipment,
Working with a patient on Blood Flow restriction

A tourniquet is applied to the patient’s leg or arm and is inflated to their individualized pressure to cause the best environment for muscle growth. It stays inflated while the patient performs low-level exercises causing the muscles to fatigue quickly. As this process is taking place, the patient will feel a burning sensation like a heavy lifting activity and the limb will become red in color and enlarged due to the veins swelling.

The tourniquet is deflated between exercises while the patient rests. Sessions typically take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and are done in conjunction with traditional physical therapy intervention.

Exercie with a blood flow restriction cuff

Blood flow restriction therapy (BFR) is a new approach that can be added to a conventional orthopedic rehabilitation program. It is used frequently in higher-level rehabilitation settings, like the military and professional athletics – now Performance Physical Therapy is bringing it to you!

What To Expect

This treatment benefits those recovering from surgery or who are unable to tolerate high-intensity training. Other injury or ailments that could benefit from blood flow restriction therapy include:​

  • ACL injuries

  • Arthroscopy

  • Rotator cuff repair

  • Achilles tear

  • Hip Osteoarthritis

  • Knee Osteoarthritis

Alert Your Physical Therapist If You Have a History Of:

  • Cancer

  • Blood clotting disorders

  • Hypertension

  • Sickle cell anemia

  • History of a blood clot

  • Current infection


Where to Find Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

For more information or to schedule a free 15-minute evaluation with a physical therapist, call 401.726.7100.

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