Blood Flow Restriction

Blood Flow Restriction training (BFR) is quickly becoming the more popular way to minimize muscle loss or stimulate muscle gain with light load exercises performed in a rehabilitation setting. When compared to light load exercise alone, BFR can stimulate an exaggerated response for strength and hypertrophy. Blood Flow Restriction training involves placing a specialized restriction cuff (similar to a blood pressure cuff) proximal to the target muscle. Then, the muscle is trained at a low intensity.

The goal of BFR is to increase muscle size, strength, and endurance which is very important in Physical Therapy.


Potential Indications for BFR include but are not limited to:

  • Knee Reconstructions
  • Cartilage Repairs
  • Tendon Repairs
  • Extremity Fractures
  • Inflammatory Myopathies
  • Muscle Strains
  • Joint Sprains
  • Nerve Injuries (where the muscle is still partially innervated)
  • Rotator Cuff Repairs
  • Symptomatic Osteoarthritis of the Knee, Hip, Ankle, and Shoulder
  • Tendinopathy
  • Arthroscopies
  • General Debility, Weakness, or Sarcopenia
  • Impingement Syndromes of the Hip and Shoulder
  • Total Joint Replacement
  • Musculoskeletal Trauma
  • Spinal Pathology