NEWSLETTER The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body
RETURN TO YOUR SPORT FASTER with Blood Flow Restriction
Are you recovering from an injury? If so, you may be a candidate for blood flow restriction treatments. This may seem counterintuitive - you might ask yourself, “Why would I want to restrict my blood flow? Isn’t it good for blood to circulate?” While these are valid points, blood flow restriction treatments can actually pose several benefits, especially in athletes. Blood flow restriction isn’t just therapeutic – in fact, it helps strengthen muscles. Treatments are usually done during exercise, using compression to restrict circulation in the affected area(s). This is done in order to promote hypertrophy (increase in muscle mass) and prevent disuse atrophy (decrease in muscle mass). How exactly does blood flow restriction work? The compression devices used during blood flow restriction treatments are similar to blood pressure cuffs. The pressure created by these compression devices is high enough to occlude blood flow at 50-80% within the affected muscles. Blood flow restriction is based on a popular theory that the treatments lead to a “local hypoxic event,” meaning the tissues in the affected area will be temporarily deprived of oxygen. While this may sound intimidating, the
local hypoxia actually helps in accumulating more metabolites, in order to regulate the body’s anabolic response system (also known as the way in which the body gains muscle protein) during exercise. Essentially, restricting the blood flow in the affected area helps to build more muscle protein. Additional physiological responses to blood flow restriction include:
• Increased anabolic growth factors • Fast twitch fiber recruitment • Muscle fiber synthesis • Heat shock proteins • Nitric oxide synthase • Decreased expression of myostatin
If you are interested in learning more about blood flow restriction and how it may benefit you, contact ProMotion Rehab and Sports Medicine today!
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