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The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists

Blood Flow Occlusion Training

At Galway Bay Physio,  we now offer blood flow occlusion training.

What is it?

Well, using specialised cuffs which will measure your blood pressure, we can restrict the amount of blood flow going to a limb that we want to train, this helps us to recreate a high intensity training environment while we train at a lower intensity.

Why do this?

By limiting the amount of blood flow to a limb it allows more blood to surround a muscle which is great for muscle healing and growth, leading to strength gains.

Is it safe?

Yes it is very safe, risks are similar to those of doing any exercises as long as the equipment is used properly and safely.

Why use blood flow occlusion training?

Sometimes after an injury it is important to keep or regain strength as soon as possible, using blood flow occlusion or blood flow restriction (BFR) training it has been shown to result in the same strength gains as conventional resistance training with just 30% of the load.
For example, an athlete has just undergone Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction surgery and can’t put too much load through their leg/knee in the early days, BFR is great way to combat this problem and ensure that they keep their strength, similarly it can be used for individuals returning from fractures who cant yet put full load through a limb.

Who can use it?

Anyone can use it however you will be asked to carry out a health screening before hand just to be safe. From first hand experience with elite level athletes who have undergone broken legs/ankles and ACL surgeries BFR training has really helped to get these athletes back to preinjury fitness and in great timing too.

by Richard Grier
Athletic Therapist

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