Blood flow restriction (BFR) has been shown to produce beneficial adaptations to skeletal muscle. These adaptations have been documented in the civilian and military populations. BFR therapy may provide patients a safe method to begin strength training at earlier stages of rehabilitation to allow for earlier and more effective return to activity and improved military readiness. The purpose was to review BFR therapy physiology, complications, side effects, standardized treatment algorithms, and long-term patient outcomes.
*Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
†Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda
¶United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
‡Owens Recovery Science, San Antonio, TX
§Faculty of Sport, Health & Applied Science, St Marys University, London, UK
∥John A. Feagin Jr. Sports Medicine Fellowship, West Point, NY
The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army/Navy/Air Force, Department of Defense, or US Government.
Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Reprints: Jonathan F. Dickens, MD, Walter Reed National Military Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, America Building 19 Floor 2, 8901 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20889.