In order to get onto the road to recovery, strengthening exercises are essential. Yet after surgery or certain leg and arm injuries, joint and muscle pain can be big problems and limit people to not being able to do much rehab beyond gentle exercises. A recent solution to this problem is Blood Flow Restriction Training (also known as Occlusion Training), which helps give the benefits of harder or heavier exercise training whilst doing a lower intensity one that is less stressful for the injured joint or muscle.
This is a form of exercise where the blood flow to a muscle group is safely limited while it is being trained. A special cuff goes around the top of the legs or arms and is inflated to partially reduce the amount of blood coming in and going out of the muscles. Exercising with reduced blood flow has shown to increase muscle size and create neural and hormonal changes to promote increased muscle volume and strength, necessary for recovery and returning to sport, exercise, hobbies and performing them well. This is safe for sportspeople, weekend warriors, children and elderly people alike.
Instructions on how to use the cuff in 6 easy steps:
1. Wear the cuff around both upper arms or upper legs, depending on the injury
2. Attach the pump to the cuff and pump it to up to 500mmHg. It is impossible to pump the cuff with more than 500mmHg of air pressure. Ensure the release valve on the pump is closed otherwise the cuff will not inflate
3. Remove the pump from the cuff
4. Perform the exercises which has been recommended to you. As examples, this may include gentle double leg squats early after having knee surgery, or wrist curls for tennis elbow pain
5. After exercise, attach the cuff and open the release valve. Once the cuff is deflated, remove the pump.
6. Remove the cuff from the leg/arm
Ask us about Blood Flow Restriction Training and how it can help you with your recovery from injury!
How can we help you?
At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy our goal is to get you moving pain free as soon as possible.
But, we also want you to actually move better and live a healthier, more active and fulfilling life!
If your sports, fitness training or work has been wearing your body down, book in with one of our physiotherapists or expert massage therapists so we can help you reduce your pain or stiffness.
If you are showing some signs of this condition or simply want help prevent this from happening in the future then book in with one of our highly experienced team today!