What are the Benefits of Blood Flow Restriction Therapy?

Orthopaedic & Spine Center


Image of Paige Tretter, DPTPaige Tretter, PT, DPT

Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFRT) is used by Physical Therapists and other health professionals to assist patients in increasing muscle mass, endurance and strength even with painful arthritic joints and injured soft tissues.  This treatment can also be utilized as part of a rehabilitation program following certain surgical procedures.  Patients perform specific, low-intensity exercises while blood flow is restricted (not stopped) from the injured limb, using a specialized restrictive cuff and advanced monitoring equipment to ensure safety.  BFRT is also known as Blood Flow Occlusion Therapy, Tourniquet Training or Kaatsu Training. 

There are so many benefits from BFRT that individuals without injury are using it to increase their physical performance and overall health. Professional athletes to older adults in a rehabilitation setting are using this treatment to accomplish their goals. Listed are some of the gains that can be realized by persons treated with BFRT:

  • Improved aerobic capacity and cardiovascular endurance
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Improved healing
  • Improved bone density
  • Less soreness after exertion
  • Reduced pain levels
  • Increased strength
  • Reduction of high blood pressure
  • Allows muscle and strength building even during injury to joints or cartilage
  • Allows a quicker return to activity after surgery
  • Prepare for sports competition more quickly and effectively
  • Maintain fitness levels more easily during off-season
  • Increase in Human Growth Hormone levels

After reading this extensive list of benefits, it is easy to understand why BFRT is so popular with Physical Therapists, orthopedic patients and professional athletes alike.  The highly skilled Physical Therapy team at Orthopaedic and Spine Center has been specifically trained to administer BFRT to patients with musculoskeletal injuries and conditions.