Blood Flow Restriction Training | PRO Therapy
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Blood Flow Restriction Training: When Traditional Exercise Isn’t Working

Are you experiencing unnecessary pain? 

Are you worried that physical therapy may worsen your pain? 

Are you tired of hearing the same useless advice?

We want to reassure you that physical therapy shouldn’t be painful and you shouldn’t have to worry about seeking help. Our aim is to get your physical health back to where it should be. 

We offer a large array of physical therapy treatments depending on your personal situation. Blood flow restriction training is one of the treatments that could be right for you.

 If something doesn’t seem to be working or is causing pain we can support you with a treatment plan that suits you. 

We want to be able to work with you to get the results that you deserve. 

Blood Flow Restriction

Are Stretches And Traditional Exercises Not Working For You? 

You might be asking “why should I bother? I’ve already tried physical therapy and it didn’t work for me.”

We hear this far too often when discussing pain and injuries with our clients.We’ve found that most people who say this have experienced very generic treatment plans from their previous physical therapist. 

Physical therapy shouldn’t be limited to an examination followed by a couple of exercises and stretches. Often clients’ previous physical therapist routines have been exercises handed to them on a sheet of paper to do at home. 

We understand that these exercises can be painful and cause a lot of discomfort. You may be confused as to why you are left with greater amounts of pain after doing these exercises. We also know how difficult it can be to stick to a regime that gets boring quickly. 

Here at Pro Therapy we’re different, we do offer a range of stretches and exercises when appropriate but we also offer so much more. Our main objective is to work with you to achieve great results instead of sending you away with an unhelpful exercise list. 

We want to be there with you every step of the way explaining how each part of the program benefits you. 

When engaging in physical therapy you should be confident in knowing that it’s helping you to feel a greater sense of pain relief and freedom in the long run. 

Scrap boring routines and join us with a program that you can really get stuck into. 

Exercises and Stretches

What Is Blood Flow Restriction Training? 

Blood flow restriction training (or cuff training) may sound scary or intimidating at first, in fact it is a very safe, painless and effective treatment.

So how does it work?

This treatment involves a cuff being applied to the area that is causing your pain. 

Different sizes and widths of cuffs can be utilized depending on the area affected and the amount of pain caused at the site. 

Low intensity blood flow restriction training can often be the most beneficial, helping with long term aches as well as short terms injuries. 

Once the cuff has been applied to the affected area the aim is to build up a slight amount of pressure behind the cuff.

To build this pressure we will slightly restrict blood flow in the sight causing pain, still allowing the majority of your blood to flow freely. 

By slightly restricting blood we are reducing some of your venous return meaning blood is retained in your muscle for longer. By increasing the amount of blood in the muscle for a longer period of time we mimic the effects of high intensity exercise. 

By using the cuff we can achieve the results of higher intensity exercise in a painless manner and at a quicker rate. 

Metabolites and other helpful chemicals are pooled within the muscle when slightly restricted by the blood flow restriction cuff. 

These chemicals promote muscle growth (also known as hypertrophy) and can be greatly beneficial for restoring strength and combatting pain. 

During the process of restricting blood to the muscles, they increase in size. The size increase of the muscles is what we refer to as hypertrophy. 

Hypertrophy starts a series of metabolic processes leading to muscle strengthening and overall growth. 

Blood flow increase

When Might We Suggest Blood Flow Restriction Training To You? 

Cuff training can be really useful for clients who are experiencing large amounts of pain when exercising or stretching. 

Blood flow restriction allows physical therapists to simulate exercise in locations that may be tender or that cannot endure high intensity physical activity. 

This treatment is a great way to enable strength training at much lower intensity levels, sometimes involving minimal weights. 

The result that cuff training produces is similar to that of high level intensity training. 

Blood flow restriction training is most beneficial to clients that are experiencing great amounts of pain causing them to not be able to endure high levels of physical exercise. 

There are much less risk in terms of risk factors associated with blood flow restriction training than with other forms of therapies, treatments and even traditional high intensity exercise. 

Who Can Benefit From Cuff Training? 

In short, we can help everyone in pain. Our mission is to work alongside you to produce a treatment plan that will get the best results with minimal pain or stress. 

Let us help you to create a personalized treatment plan to manage and treat your pain. 

Blood flow restriction training can be extremely helpful in many different situations and can yield great results. 

Does any of the following sound familiar? 

  • You’ve been experiencing arthritic joint pain
  • You’ve recently been in a cast or brace
  • You’re an athlete who is going to/currently experiencing high intensity exercise
  • You’re wanting to focus on strength gaining 
  • You’ve experienced slight muscle atrophy or muscle loss due to immobilization 
  • You’ve had a recent surgery and are wanting to get back into exercise 

The benefit of cuff training is that we can help treat areas that are causing large amounts of discomfort effectively and painlessly. 

Don’t be put off by heavy weights or high intensity exercises as blood flow restriction training can be an effective alternative. 

Exercise for blood flow training

Here’s A Quick Example Of Someone That Has Benefited From Cuff Training At PRO Therapy 

John, 58 years old, came to us with intense knee pain. His pain had been ongoing for two years and was becoming even more intense. 

John could no longer use the stairs or move in a squatting motion without experiencing large amounts of discomfort and pain. 

Before reaching us he had been trying to strengthen his leg with lunges, squats and various other intensive exercises that he had found online. 

The biggest complaint that John had was that he couldn’t perform these exercises without experiencing even more pain. 

This caused a vicious cycle of wanting to exercise but causing himself more pain when trying to do so. 

Example of knee pain

How Did We Help?

The first thing we did was reassure John that this wasn’t uncommon. We sat down with him to review his treatment program, working alongside him to make sure he was comfortable. 

We recommended blood flow restriction training due to the pain caused during exercise. This program consisted of 5 weeks of cuff training and reduced exercises like squats and lunges that were causing repetitive pain in his knee. 

Each specially tailored exercise built up strength and encouraged hypertrophy. John was able to undergo this treatment because of the lack of pain caused by blood flow restriction training. 

We helped at each step of the way guiding him along with a tailored therapy plan and ensuring that he was not in any pain or discomfort. 

In the end John was extremely pleased with the results and thanked us for the painless and effective treatment that cuff training had provided. 

We want to help every client like we were able to help John. Start the process now by getting in touch. 

Cuff Training Is An Option For You

Blood flow restriction training is a great tool used for rehabilitation. Cuff training allows people to exercise at lower intensities but still encourage muscle growth and improve strength. 

The training is extremely effective for individuals who cannot exercise without experiencing great amounts of pain or discomfort. 

Unlike a sheet printed from the internet suggesting exercises that you know you wont stick to, we engage with you to make a fun and interactive treatment program. 

We do things differently to other therapists that you may have used in the past. We won’t leave you with a boring list of stretches that might inflame your pain. 

We’re happy to discuss alternative treatment methods to see which direction would be the best for you. 

We Know That We Can Help 

Don’t sit around in pain, we want to get you back on your feet again. 

We want to help you regain the confidence in physical therapy and create a routine that appeals to you. 

Don’t suffer in silence, we know that some forms of exercise intensive therapies wont work for everyone. 

Blood flow restriction therapy could be the right option for you, get in touch now. 

Check out our free discovery visit now for a sample of what we can provide. 

This is an expansion of a blog written by Ben Schacht on the 7th of January 2021 click here to have a read. 

Kevin Spahr

Kevin Spahr

Dr. Kevin Spahr, Minneapolis, MN Physical Therapist, understands that each patient is unique when it comes to injury and disease management. “The complexity of our bodies requires detailed examination and critical thinking to develop a care plan specific for each patient.” Dr. Spahr places high priority on customized treatment plans to help you reach your personal goals. Dr. Kevin Spahr, originally from Winona, MN, completed his undergraduate studies at St. Mary’s University in his hometown. After graduation, he moved up to the Twin Cities metro area in 2005 to pursue his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree at St. Catherine University School of Health in Minneapolis, MN. My love and dedication to the world of physical therapy began at a young age dealing with personal injuries sustained in sports. My passion in life has always been to help others, and a physical therapist is the career path I chose. My focus is on you. My goal is to keep you happy and healthy. In his free time, Dr. Spahr enjoys spending time with his wife (Liz), dogs (Mia & Ellie), family and friends when not in the clinic. He also enjoys staying active, exercising and the outdoors.
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