How do you manage patients, who cannot tolerate heavy loading?
Low load blood flow restriction training is an effective tool for your patients who cannot tolerate exercise with high mechanical loads
You probably recognize the scenario. A patient of yours, can only exercise with a low load due to pain or injury. You also recognize that the relatively few repetitions that your patient is performing is an insufficient exercise stimuli. It is essential that exercise is performed to near or complete failure, for your patients to recieve a physiological and morphological training response. Blood flow restriction training is your helping tool to do so.
Blood flow restriction training accelerates local muscle fatigue, and thereby increases the training response, and outcome for your patients. The restrictive cuff will limit oxygen supply to the muscle, and in response, the body responds with an increase in anaerobic energy turnover. This will accelerate the degree of muscle fatigue, and allow your patients to fully benefit from their exercises. Under these circumstances, the stimuly to increase muscle mass (hypertrophy), is maximal.
Scientific studies demonstrates that low load blood flow restriction training (LL-BFR < 30 % of 1RM) is just as effective as traditionel high load strength training (HL-strength training > 60 % of 1RM) to increase muscle mass.
Listen to sportsphysiotherapist Kathja Rasmussen, and how she utilises the effect of blood flow restriction training in her work.
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Blood flow restriction training is a bridge-building tool
Blood flow restriction should be viewed as a bridge-building tool in rehabilitation, with the patient’s long-term goal, to return to heavy strength training (> 60 % of 1RM). Blood flow restriction training can also serve as a permanent training alternative for patients, who are cronically contraindicated to heavy strength training. Most often, blood flow restriction training is performed in combination with regular strength exercises (Uni- and bilateral, single and multijoint exercises), but can also be combined with low-load exercises such as walking or cycling, which could be benificial in early rehabilitation. The choice of exercises is dictated by the exercise intensity that your patient can tolerate. Blood flow restriction training accelerates fatigue, and consequently improve the effect of an exercise.
Even though blood flow restriction training still is a relatively new tool to physioteraphists and healthcare professionals, the field of research is perrenial and the evidence is substansial.
Blood flow restriction training is neither harmfull nor dangerous to the healthy patient. Expose blood flow restriction training gradually to new users, adhere to official guidelines, and screen patients for contraindications. Let your patients reach their goals, and save time with blood flow restriction training.
Visit our Knowledge Lab and read about specific patient groups and contraindications to blood flow restriction training. Carefully read the included usermanual and guidelines with the Occlude equipment. Write with an expert to answer your specific questions.