Blood Flow Restriction Training is here!
We are super excited to announce that STAR Physical Therapy now offers blood flow restriction training (BFR)! We are proud to be the first physical therapy clinic in the Rochester area to initiate this innovative treatment option. We have invested in the top-notch Delfi unit; considered to be the gold standard for BFR training. Please read on for more information and feel free to reach out to our certified BFR practitioner Rob Wager, DPT, OCS with any additional questions!
What is BFR training?
BFR is simply exercising with a device that limits blood flow to the arm or leg that is performing the exercise. This can be done in multiple ways depending on the individual and condition. The cuff attached to your arm or leg is similar to a blood pressure cuff, and monitors blood flow to assure for safety and efficacy.
Is it BFR safe?
Yes! BFR is very safe for most people. Our unit selects a pressure specific to each person and then maintains that pressure throughout the treatment, this ensures that the pressure is both safe and effective. Also blood flow is restricted for a short period of time, typically less than eight minutes, this makes it a very low risk intervention. The Delfi unit is an FDA approved medical device and our therapists are trained to screen patients to ensure BFR is right for them.
What are the benefits of exercising with BFR?
Using BFR allows you to increase your strength with very little resistance. Studies show similar improvements in muscle strength when comparing BFR to traditional strength training. The significant difference is that the weight lifted by the people using BFR was 40% lighter! The ability to attain similar results with lighter loads is a huge advantage for people that are recovering from an injury or surgery; perfect for the rehab setting!
Who can benefit from using BFR?
Almost anyone can benefit from BFR training. Whether it is an acute muscle strain or a chronic problem there are many reasons to use BFR. Athletes coming back from a surgery will benefit from being able to build true strength sooner using the same light weights required for the beginning stages of rehab. This has been done in professional sports for years. BFR is helpful for more than just athletes. Patients with arthritis may have the most potential benefit. Increasing strength is extremely important for patients with arthritic joints, but these patients often have a very difficult time using the heavier loads required to build muscle. BFR allows the patients to build strength with light loads that are easy on the joints. Also, our patients have received significant relief in their joint pain after exercising with BFR.
We are just scratching the surface in this new and exciting field. There are countless studies currently testing what can be done with BFR. We are thrilled to be bringing this new and evolving technology to our patients at STAR!
Rob Wager PT, DPT, OCS, Certified BFR practitioner.