Blood Flow Restricted (BFR) therapy is the use of a medical grade tourniquet to briefly and safely limit the amount of venous blood flow to the exercising limb. Research has shown that limiting the amount of blood flow to the exercising limb can lead to increased muscle size, strength and endurance without having to load the region with excessive weight. This is key when recovering from injury as it allows the injured site to heal while preventing both atrophy and building muscle performance through the entire limb.
Is BFR safe?
Yes. BFR has consistently been demonstrated to be a safe modality in the literature. It has been performed in thousand of subjects in the peer-reviewed literature with little to no side effects. The biggest side effect is irritation to the skin underneath the tourniquet cuff. This can easily be avoided through the use of a protective sleeve which is our standard practice.
How does it work?
The transient occlusion of venous blood flow creates a build up in lactic acid within the exercising muscles. Lactic acid in turn leads to an increase in human growth hormone and other key hormones that enhance recovery and improve muscle performance.
How does BFR feel?
You may experience a burning sensation in the exercising muscle consistent with lactic acid accumulation in the muscle. The feeling is similar to a very intense work out without the adverse feeling of pain or pressure within the joint.
Is there evidence to support BFR?
Yes. There are over 820 articles relating to BFR that substantiate both its safety and effectiveness. A recent meta-analysis summarized the effects of BFR concluding that BFR increases muscle size, strength, and endurance while exercising at 20-30% of the load typically required to achieve such effects.
What BFR device do you use at Performance?
We use the PTS Personalized Tourniquet System for Personalized Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation manufactured by Delfi Medical Innovations, a world leader in tourniquet technology and safety. The PTS for PBFR device is specifically designed to safely regulate and precisely control tourniquet pressure to allow for the most safe and effective treatment for each client.