Physical Therapy with Blood Flow Restriction

Blood Flow Restriction Bands, also called BFR Bands, are a tremendous addition to the toolbox of physical therapists,” stated Dr. Mike DeBord of B3 Sciences, Inc. “It is probably the most impactful equipment for physical therapy in the last 50 years. The BFR equipment has been refined and now there are inflatable BFR bands that are waterproof and can be used by 8 year-olds, professional athletes, women, and seniors. It is simply amazing how just about everybody can benefit from this relatively new high-tech equipment.

Physical Therapy with Blood Flow Restriction Bands

What Is BFR For Physical Therapy?

In general, BFR (blood flow restriction) bands restrict blood flow to a muscle. It is considered a physical therapy modality and has wide applications because exercises can be completed is much less time and with little or no weights. It is ideal equipment for people who are recovering from an injury.

Physical Therapists have recognized the advantages of BFR bands across the nation. “Patients are able to perform exercises with a lighter resistance, and thus decreased pain, but still get the benefit of strength training for the targeted muscle. They feel more of a ‘muscle burn’ versus joint pain.  They note muscular fatigue in a shorter time versus not having the BFR bands on. Referrals have called asking if we have BFR bands available and then have referred to us based on the bands.  Also have had a patient buy her own bands after using in our clinic,” stated Jennifer Ambos, Physical Therapist of Kettering Health.

The BFR bands have been a game-changer in my physical therapy practice. I have found them to amplify the benefits of therapeutic exercise and accelerate the rehab process.  Here is what one patient had to say: ‘Being 55 years old and female, I did not expect that my bone would be fully healed in just 5 weeks and 3 days from surgery. I knew I was gaining strength and function very quickly with our PT sessions but to find that the bone healed so quickly too was such a bonus. I wanted to send a heartfelt thank you for using the restriction bands to aid in my recovery. I felt so weak and atrophied after having to sit for the first weeks and feel so much stronger already. I’m so grateful that you educate yourself on newer therapies and employ them. I think it made all the difference for me’,” shared Scott Corso, Physical Therapist and advocate for BFR bands.

Benefits Of Blood Flow Restriction Training

  • Save Time – usually 1/3 to 1/2 the previous exercise time
  • Increase strength with lighter weights
  • Increase muscle size (hypertrophy)
  • Improve muscle endurance
  • Reverse atrophy and loss of strength after an injury
  • Reverse atrophy and loss of strength after surgery
  • Increase natural growth hormone

What Is Blood Flow Restriction Therapy And How Does It Work?

Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFRT) is used by physical therapists to apply external pressure to the legs and arms to restrict blood flow to these limbs. The decreased blood flow forces muscles to adapt more quickly and promotes hypertrophy, an increase in the size of cells (or tissues) in response to various stimuli. The legs and arms continue to receive blood flow but to a lesser extent. The patient is then guided through rehabilitation exercises that may or may not include light weights. The first major advantage is that patients can achieve greater gains in strength with little or no weights. The second major advantage is that the injured arm or leg is subject to less stress because the exercises use lighter or no weights.  Both advantages are important for patient rehabilitation. This exercise strategy is also referred to as Blood Flow Restriction Training.

BFR Bands can be used with little or no weight-lifting

What To Expect During BFRT (Blood Flow Restriction Training)

BFRT is known to produce physical rehabilitation results in much shorter time frames with lighter or no weight lifting. Patients use BFR bands (blood flow restriction bands) to produce a number of beneficial responses by the human body including the production of human growth hormone. And patients in physical therapy can achieve significant benefits without lifting heavy weights. Lighter or no weights lessen the dangerous stress to muscles and tissues that have been injured or subjected to surgery.  Physical therapists are helping patients heal in less time with lighter or no weight-lifting.

BFR Bands are used by all age groups from youngsters to seniors

Dr. DeBord is the President of B3 Sciences, Inc. His company specializes in providing easy to follow videos and lifetime coaching to his customers and clients. “Once people experience BFR Bands, they rarely go back to the old, long and hard way of exercising!”, he stated.