Physiotherapists have a firm foundation in anatomy, physiology, therapeutic exercise and the cardiorespiratory system, as well as clinical reasoning, which are the components of the safe application of blood flow restriction training. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), blood flow restriction training is part of the scope of practice of a licensed physical therapist. Under the APTA, additional BFR certification is NOT required, however, therapists must be competent and follow evidence-based practice. Blood flow restriction therapy (BFRT) is achieved by applying external pressure on the limbs through a cuff while performing rehabilitation.
The applied pressure is sufficient to maintain arterial inflow while occluding venous outflow distal to the occlusion site. The goal of blood flow restriction therapy allows patients to gain greater strength gains while lifting lighter loads, thus reducing the overall stress that is exerted on the limb. BFRT works by decreasing blood flow to working muscles with the goal of promoting hypertrophy and preventing disuse atrophy of muscles. This treatment is normally used during exercise, but may also involve the use of compression devices alone.
The short answer is no, you don't need a certification to use Blood Flow Restriction training. The BFR is within the scope of practice for both physical therapists and athletic trainers. Local authorities may have different guidelines, so it's always best to review your state's practice laws to make sure you can use BFR.
Blood flow restriction trainingis an evidence-based form of training that promotes improvements in strength and endurance at a lower intensity level of exercise by limiting the amount of blood flow that is supplied to the target muscle.
BFR training has been shown to increase muscle strength and size, decrease rehabilitation time, improve cardiovascular endurance, and increase recovery rate after strenuous exercise or sporting events. The BFRT is part of the professional practice scope of a PT. However, there are other factors to consider. Physiotherapist training provides physiotherapists with the necessary knowledge (muscular and vascular anatomy, and physiology and physiology of exercise), as well as the skills (prescribing therapeutic exercise, monitoring physiological vital signs and blood flow) to perform and control this type of exercise therapeutic.
Blood flow restriction training can help patients make greater gains in strength training while lifting lighter loads, thus reducing overall stress placed on the limb. Blood flow restriction training is a technique that can be used to perform exercises with a reduced amount of blood flow to the arm or leg. The method involves the use of the Personalized Tourniquet System (PTS) for Personalized Blood Flow Restriction (PBFR) rehabilitation, a device specifically designed to safely regulate and control tourniquet pressure for PBFR applications and includes advanced customization and safety features. By reducing blood flow to a limb and completely occluding the outflow of the limb, the muscles are metabolically stressed, thus imitating a more intense exercise than is actually being performed.
I recently attended a class for certification in Blood Flow Restriction Training or BFRT because I have heard a lot about this treatment that is used in the rehabilitation and strength setting. The therapist will then adjust the pressure in the cuff so that only a certain percentage of the blood flow is restricted to the muscles while you exercise. A cuff will then be clamped around the upper arm or leg and pumped upward until maximum occlusion of blood flow is measured. BFR requires the application of a device similar to a blood pressure cuff or tourniquet to securely compress the blood vessels underneath.