BFR Therapy at SHC
The Spine & Health Center of New Jersey is proud to offer BFR.
Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFRT) is achieved through the application of external pressure over the extremities via a cuff while performing rehabilitation. The applied pressure is sufficient to maintain arterial inflow while occluding venous outflow distal to the occlusion site. The goal of Blood Flow Restriction Therapy enables patients to make greater strength gains while lifting lighter loads, thereby reducing the overall stress placed on the limb. BFRT works by decreasing blood flow to working muscles with the aim of promoting hypertrophy, and preventing disuse atrophy of muscles. This treatment is typically used during exercise, but can also involve the use of compression devices alone.
Using blood flow restriction, muscular hypertrophy and strength benefits are seen in both untrained and athletic populations Interestingly, blood flow restriction creates hypertrophic muscular responses without high mechanical loads, but the underpinning physiological mechanisms are not fully understood. One theory proposes that downstream of the blood flow restriction cuff, greater accumulation of metabolites act as primary moderators of an anabolic response, due to increased production and limited removal. Importantly, this accumulation of metabolites may increase muscle cell swelling, intramuscular anabolic/anti-catabolic signaling, and muscle fiber recruitment. Also, blood flow restriction may increase the activation and number of myogenic stem cells, enhancing the hypertrophic response. All of these responses are thought to be beneficial for muscular adaptation.
Although there is growing interest in the mechanisms by which blood flow restriction can augment resistance training adaptation, we do not yet fully understand all of the physiological processes involved, and further research is required. However, with that said, it is now well acknowledged that blood flow restriction can enhance the adaptive responses to low-load resistance exercise and the adaptations seen are dependent on both the blood flow restriction stimulus itself and the exercise protocol performed.