Top 5 Fridays! 5 Reasons to Use BFR | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Top 5 Fridays! 5 Reasons to Use BFR



Blood flow restriction (BFR) training is becoming more popular by the day. And why shouldn't it? It is THE BEST adjunct to strength training in both the strength and rehab populations.

I wanted to write up a short post to list, in no particular order, the top 5 reasons that I use BFR:

  1. Reduce pain - Studies have shown that a reduction in pain occurs for up to 24 hours after BFR use. This creates an open window of increased pain threshold where sensitivity is increased, stress response is reduced, and threat is no longer a barrier to progress.. I utilize this opportunity to work on movement patterns without a threat present. This leads to reduced compensations, decreased use of an assistive device. In my opinion, anything that reduce pain is worth using.
  2. Strength - The use of BFR to gain strength is well documented. BFR leads to heightening cell signaling for protein synthesis and muscular hypertrophy without muscle breakdown or damage to the non-contractile tissue. The effects can be seen with as little as 4 weeks of training with BFR. The systemic effects apply to everyone - early and later rehab, strength, elderly or young clients - anyone with muscles! 
  3. Recovery - Athletes who are in-season, when volume and intensity of training is lower, are ideal candidates for BFR.  Gains from the off-season can be maintained without increasing the risk for injury. Win-win! For those currently training, using BFR on recovery days is a perfect marriage. 
  4. Post-Op - immediately post-op is a vulnerable time for patients. The incidence of muscle atrophy, increased pain, and decreased function is high. The application of BFR early on in the rehab process stimulates the hypertrophy process without risk to the surgical site. Performing BFR right before manual therapy or ROM leads to decreased muscle guarding and pain, which makes those techniques more effective.
  5. Geriatric - the elderly might have the most to gain from using BFR. Co-morbid and elderly populations might be contraindicated from high intensity strength training, but we know the benefits of gaining muscle as we age is HUGE. I have elderly patients who are appropriate for BFR utilize it with aerobic or resistance exercise to make safe gains in strength that leads to improved quality of life measures.

Dr. Kyle Coffey, DPT - lead instructor The Eclectic Approach to Modern Strength Training
Motus PT and Performance

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MST Cardio and Lab

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