Today’s article is out of Tulane University from Wortman et al. “Blood Flow Restriction Training for Athletes: A Systematic Review” pulls together data from 10 studies.
Blood flow restriction has garnered interest due to the potential for increased muscle development at lower levels of resistance. I have had interest in this from a rehab standpoint for postoperative knee rehabilitation. This article, however, focuses on healthy athletes.
The authors report 9/10 studies showing improvements in strength with 7/10 showing significant improvements compared to control groups. Ultimately, the largest drawback to the reported studies is the heterogeneity of testing apparatus (tourniquet vs bands), pressure in the cuff in those using a tourniquet, outcome measures, training protocol as well as training duration and frequency.
Although there continues to be interest and increased awareness in this technique this article demonstrates that more studies are needed to standardize training regimens.
If you are an athlete and want to know more about the various sports injuries treatment, you can call my office at 512-244-4272 or schedule an online appointment.