Blood Flow Restriction Therapy
We are proudly certified providers – Personalized Blood Flow Restriction (PBFR) or Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) was founded and introduced to the physical therapy world by physical therapist Jonny Owens in 2012. After great success and experience treating veterans/service members suffering severe musculoskeletal trauma using this system, Jonny decided to apply this technique to sports medicine injuries and post surgical patients. Currently, BFR is being used by certified healthcare professionals throughout Canada and the US working with professional sports teams and athletes, high level sport addicts, as well as the military.
WHAT DOES PBFR ENTAIL?
It is the application of a specialized FDA-approved tourniquet system to a proximal arm or leg, which is then inflated, to a personalized and specific pressure to reduce blood flow to an exercising extremity. With PBFR, blood is able to enter the muscles via arterial flow; however, the veins are restricted so that blood is partially prevented from leaving the working muscle. By using this technique, one can exercise with significantly lighter weight while still creating a hypertrophy (growth) and strength response. The application is based on a very specific protocol and the session lasts approximately 6 minutes.
IS BFR SAFE?
Throughout the literature, BFR has been demonstrated to be a safe modality to use in the clinical setting while being supervised by a certified healthcare professional. In Canada, certified healthcare professionals must use a Health Canada Medically Licensed Device to safely and effectively perform BFR within a clinical setting. Our physiotherapists have obtained the adequate training and certification achieved through a course administered by Owens Recovery Science (of Jonny Owens). The clinic uses a Delfi Personalized Tourniquet System for BFR which is an FDA-approved 3rd generation tourniquet system specifically indicated for BFR use. The tourniquet system is manufactured by Delfi Medical Innovations Inc., a world leader in tourniquet technology and safety. This tourniquet is attached to a system which calibrates and maintains the designated pressure and allows rapid inflation and deflation of the tourniquet cuff.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PBFR IN THE REHABILITATION AND RECOVERY?
In a short summary, PBFR is has been proven effective to significantly increase strength and hypertrophy of a muscle(s) in a shorter amount of time with a lower one repetition max (1RM). Under restricted blood flow to the area while performing exercises, studies suggests that you can gain the same amount of strength and hypertrophy of a muscle with only 20% 1RM vs 60% 1RM.
IS BFR AN EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE?
Yes, there is a substantial amount of literature suggesting that BFR is an effective modality to increase strength/hypertrophy with low load resistance exercise and low
load aerobic exercise. A recent meta-analysis found a total of 820 articles pertaining to BFR. Each clinician is well-versed with the BFR literature and scientific rations as to when and how to apply it in the clinic.
WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM PBFR?
PBFR can be used with any population demonstrating musculoskeletal injuries or postoperative atrophy. It is shown that those unable to lift significant load to BFR allows the clinician to begin the strength and hypertrophy phases of rehabilitation much earlier.
15min Free Injury screening – by appointment only