WHAT DOES BLOOD FLOW RESTRICTION (BFR) TRAINING DO?
BFR training allows patients to gain muscle mass and strength without putting excessive pressure through their joints. This method involves placing a tourniquet around the upper arm (for upper body BFR) or the upper thigh (for lower body BFR) and applying pressure to restrict the amount of blood flow that can move into and out of a muscle whilst exercising.
This reduction in blood flow causes an increase in the recruitment of type 2 muscle fibres at lower intensities and causes a build-up of metabolic by-products which signals to your body to increase muscle strength and size.
Your physiotherapist will explain the technique in detail and will discuss any questions you have before your first session. After the session we advise you to maintain your normal activity levels but rest from sport or unaccustomed activity for 24 hours. If you have any concerns before, during or after your treatment session then please discuss with your physiotherapist.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?
The research shows that occlusion training is a very safe method for patients of all ages. Your physiotherapist will check your medical history to ensure you are at minimal risks of any side effects and so not have any contra-indications to the technique.
Potential side effects (these are all rare):
These occur in less than 1%
- Feeling cold
- Short term numbness
- ‘Extra pressure’ sensation in the limb
- Muscle soreness for up to 48 hours afterwards e.g. DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
- Muscle or tendon tear/rupture
- Fainting/light headedness/dizziness
- Skin irritation from the cuff
- Damage to the veins and arteries
- Alteration in blood pressure
- Cardio-vascular event
PLEASE NOTE: These side effects are no more common in occlusion training than standard strength training
- Poor circulation/circulatory issues
- Obesity BMI > 30
- High blood pressure 140/90mmHg
- Long haul flight in the past week
- Respiratory or breathing issues
- Age > 60 – unless fit/active and participates in regular strength training
- Pregnancy or < 3 months post-partum
- High blood pressure 150/95mmHg
- History of pulmonary embolism (PE) or deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Blood clotting disorders and/or taking anti-coagulant therapy e.g. warfarin
- Cardiac/heart disease – history of heart attack or atrial fibrillation
- Previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack
- Active infection or acute inflammation of the treatment area
- Systemic inflammatory disorders e.g. rheumatoid arthritis
If you would like to discuss any of this information before booking, then please do not hesitate to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our physiotherapists will contact you.