The Many Benefits of Blood Flow Restriction

If you’re frustrated because your fitness routine isn’t increasing your muscle strength as you’d like or you want to recover more quickly from an injury, surgery, or chronic condition, there’s an in-office treatment that can turn things around for you, safely and quickly. 

At Empire Physical Therapy & Athletic Rehabilitation, our physical therapists, Billy Reilly and Paul LaRosa, have seen great success with the blood flow restriction training (BFRT) and rehabilitation treatment. This therapy, also referred to as occlusion training, offers impressive benefits, whether your training program needs enhancing or you want a faster recovery time as you heal from injury or surgery.

How does blood flow restriction training and rehabilitation work?

As the name of the treatment implies, one of the keys to BFRT is a deliberate, but controlled process that limits blood flow to your extremities. When we provide this treatment, we use a tourniquet that’s very similar to the blood pressure cuff you’re probably familiar with. 

When the tourniquet inflates and puts pressure on your arm or leg, it slows blood briefly while you’re exercising the limb. Your brain and body are fooled a bit, because they think you’ve performed a much more intense workout, and your pituitary gland releases a generous amount of growth hormones, leading to significant, rapid muscle growth. 

The therapy is highly targeted, and we determine the pressure that’s right for you when the tourniquet is inflated.

What are the advantages of BFRT?

Our patients are so pleased with this treatment because it offers multiple, meaningful benefits:

While you enjoy the benefits of BFRT, you can also be assured that it’s completely safe because we administer the treatment based on your individual medical history, current condition, and the goals we set together. 

Problems that blood flow rehabilitation therapy can treat

We offer BFRT to patients who suffer from many types of conditions and injuries, including:

We also have seen this treatment help patients with muscle-wasting diseases like multiple sclerosis and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. 

Don’t try BRFT at home

You might be tempted to perform a type of do-it-yourself blood flow rehabilitation therapy with cuffs you can buy online. We don’t recommend this because you really need the combined knowledge of anatomy, exercise physiology, and vascular systems, and the ability to monitor your body’s response during the treatment in order to do it safely. 

While BRFT offers significant benefits for both people looking to build strength and those recovering from injury or living with a chronic condition, our deep knowledge and valuable experience working with this therapy allow us to treat you in the most customized and safe way


You may be the ideal candidate for BRFT, but you won’t know unless you schedule a consultation with us. Simply call our New York City office, located in Manhattan’s Midtown East section, or request an appointment via our online booking tool. We also offer telemedicine consultations.

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