Optimum DPT: Blog #4 Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation

PTS Blood Flow Restriction Unit

PTS Blood Flow Restriction Unit

Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation / Training (BFR) is, in my opinion, the most interesting treatment in conservative care today.  You may have seen it featured on ESPN recently as more and more professional sport teams and universities embrace the technology since it showed incredible results for wounded warriors.  There is a growing body of evidence supporting its use in physical therapy, especially for those too elderly, frail or injured to engage in traditional strength training exercises.  

One such study, Clarkson et al 2017, offers further evidence showing the incredible impact of incorporating BFR with general exercise.  

The authors had sedentary, elderly adults (men and women in their 60s & 70s) walk with and without BFR for 6 weeks (4 walks per week, 24 total walks).  The authors examined common functional measures of strength, mobility, balance and endurance: the timed-up and go test, the 6-minute walk test, the 30 second sit-stand test, and the modified Queens College Step Test at the start of the program, at 3-weeks and at the 6-week mark.  The BFR walking group saw a 2.5-to 4.5-fold greater improvement in their measures of physical function compared to the non-BFR walking group

A 250% to 450% greater gains in strength, endurance, balance and mobility just by adding Blood Flow Restriction to the walking.  

Just to be clear (if it wasn’t)… That. Is. Amazing.  

But if you are elderly or injured and the thought of walking seems too daunting, do not get discouraged.  Similar results have been found by adding BFR to simple, low weight resistance exercises as well as bike riding!

And the gains of BFR is not limited to just the sedentary elderly— it has been shown to be effective across almost all age groups and fitness levels.

Lower Extremity Blood Flow Restriction Exercise

Lower Extremity Blood Flow Restriction Exercise


Optimum DPT the Osteopractic Physiotherapy Specialists of Michigan is proud to be one of two clinics in Michigan certified to offer Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation and Training, and the only clinic in the northern half of the state to offer this amazing intervention to the public.

If you want to supercharge your therapeutic exercise, get back your independence, and return to work or play ASAP contact our Petoskey office today!

Until next time,

Matthew Gaunt, DPT, ATC, Dip. Osteopractic, FAAOMPT