Many patients in a physical therapy clinic cannot lift heavy weights – occasionally because of surgery, immobilization, or pain. Blood Flow Restriction Training may be an excellent tool for rehabilitation because it enables patients to obtain the benefits of a heavy, intense weight-lifting workout while only needing a patient to do training of a low to moderate intensity.
This decreases stress to tissues that might be healing from a recent surgery or injury. During Blood Flow Restriction training, the athlete or patient performs high reps of a particular exercise while using a cuff or a band around their upper leg or upper arm while using light resistance.
Physical changes that may happen secondary to BFR training
- An improvement in bone mineral density
- Reduced cardiovascular disease risk
- Development of healthier and newer blood vessels
- Muscular atrophy prevention
- Increased muscular cross-sectional area
- An improvement in muscular strength
BFR Causes the Muscles to Have to Work Harder
With elastic Blood Flow Restriction training, BFR bands are positioned close to the person’s upper legs and/or upper arms. It’s vital to note that elastic Blood Flow Restriction bands don’t cause total arterial blood occlusion; therefore, it may be safe for most patients. Elastic Blood Flow Restriction bands partly restrict your venous blood return. It makes your muscles work harder to pump blood back to your heart! Reach out to Source Fitness to learn more about BFR.
Blood Flow Restriction exercise involves bouts of rest and exercise. During the exercise spurts, blood quickly circulates from the heart to the arteries, to the limbs, to the veins, and back to your heart. Elastic BFR bands may be equated to a dam. Your muscles in the limb must work harder to pump the venous blood past the Blood Flow Restriction bands back to your heart. At a local cellular level, the dam effect generates a homeostasis disturbance –acidic muscle cells, reduced oxygen levels inside the muscle cells, and additional changes making the muscles quickly fatigue, just as they might with heavyweights. And during the rest periods, the muscle cells may recover, but it’s vital with elastic Blood Flow Restriction that these bands be left on then inflated during the rest periods to enhance the systemic BFR benefits.
How Do Your Limbs React to a Change in Oxygen Levels
Also, our legs and arms sense the body’s temporary loss of normal oxygen levels. Due to this, two things occur—our muscle cells are regenerated, and our fast-twitch muscle fibers are trained.
The loss of oxygen to the limbs makes the muscles fatigue more swiftly and permits our fast, anaerobic twitch muscles. Fast, anaerobic twitch muscles are necessary to jump higher and run faster. They involve muscles such as our quads, calves, biceps, hamstrings, triceps, and additional muscles that might be important in your rehabilitation.
The loss of oxygen at a cellular level will encourage protein synthesis. It’s critical to muscle strength and muscle repair.
Several studies have demonstrated that likewise physiological benefits may be found while comparing high, heavy intensity exercise to light-to-moderate exercise using Blood Flow Restriction.