Low Intensity Blood Flow Restriction Training is a Huge Benefit to Injury Recovery

June 14, 2017

Low Intensity Training
Low Intensity Blood Flow Restriction Training Benefits to Injury Recovery 
Often considered an obstacle in the injury recovery process is the weakening of the injured area due to inactivity. Activity while suffering from an injury is usually avoided to prevent further injury.  Unfortunately, the weakening of the injured area may become a bigger problem than the injury itself.
One of the biggest benefits provided by physical therapy is the focus on strengthening injured areas through careful examination by doctors of physical therapy.  However, this challenge can be difficult to overcome when the patient is weak or elderly.  Lifting heavy weights can often be a limitation when strengthening an injured area.  Blood flow restriction solves this issue by allowing the use of light weights to mimic heavy lifting.
Blood flow restriction is a process that applies a tourniquet to an injured limb, usually the arm or thigh, to partially restrict blood from to the limb.  By stopping the blood flow back to the heart and keeping the blood in the limb longer you are allowing your body to activate muscle fibers much quicker than without the tourniquet around your limb.
The activation of your fast twitch muscle fiber and buildup of lactic acids tricks your body into thinking it is lifting much heavier than you really are.  This allows patients muscles that aren’t strong enough to lift heavily to strengthen them just as well while lifting lighter weights.  Light lifting also puts much less stress on joints and tendons, lowering the risk of further injury.
Blood flow restriction training is important in the injury recovery process.  When injured, many people tend to limit the movement of the injured area resulting in the weakening of the muscles and tendons.  The muscle loss in the area of the injury can lead to more injury in the long run once the patient starts using it again.  Blood flow restriction training has proven to be an extremely effective way of strengthening an injured area during the recovery process.
Various studies linked below have shown that low-intensity training with blood flow restriction causes muscle hypertrophy and strength gain.  In fact, compared to high intensity training without blood flow restriction, the results of low intensity blood flow restriction training are similar, if not, better.  Studies have also shown that blood flow restriction training significantly increased muscular size and strength as well as functional ability of active older men and women.
We recommend performing blood flow restriction training in the presence of a licensed doctor of physical therapy to avoid nerve damage or other injuries.   The PT doctor is trained to diagnose and develop a low intensity program specifically for your injury for a healthy recovery.
Blood Flow restriction training has been an increasingly popular technique to strengthen muscles in injured and non-injured patients.  As more studies continue to confirm its effects on the human body it will become more prevalent for muscle growth and strength.  Blood flow restriction is an excellent rehabilitative physical therapy program to proactively limit and minimize the risk of injury.  The reduced stress on the joints and tendons helps strengthen muscles for patients that have difficulty lifting heavy objects.  Most importantly, there is no risk for blood clotting during blood flow restriction training.
We fully expect further advancements in physical therapy techniques for common injuries from sports and daily routines. To learn more about blood flow restriction training schedule an free exploratory visit with our doctors at Moriarty Physical Therapy.  Call 845-454-4137 or visit us at MoriartyPT.com.
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