Category: Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development); Athlete Development & Sports Rehabilitation; Cross-Cutting
Objective(s) : 1. Readers will understand the benefits of incorporating Blood Flow Restriction training as part of a knee rehabilitation program.
2. Readers will be able to identify patients with knee problems for which Blood Flow Restriction training may be beneficial.
3. Readers will become familiar with the theory of how Blood Flow Restriction training influences tissue physiology.
Data Sources : PubMed, EBSCO (CINAHL, Medline, and Academic Search Complete), and Web Discovery Tool
Study Selection : Twenty-seven articles were included in the review. Articles were reviewed by multiple reviewers and included Blood Flow Restriction training with strengthening in healthy subjects, subjects with anterior knee pain, subjects with osteoarthritis, and subjects with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
Data Extraction : Each article was reviewed by the authors and results were compiled and compared across studies.
Data Synthesis : BFR training with low-load exercise was shown to be statistically significant in improving knee extensor strength, knee flexor strength, improving muscle endurance in the lower extremity, reducing knee pain and producing muscle hypertrophy in healthy subjects as well as subjects with anterior knee pain, osteoarthritis, and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
Conclusions : BFR with low-load strengthening exercises appears to be an effective clinical intervention used during knee rehabilitation showing results similar to those of high intensity exercise. In cases where significant results were not obtained, patients still benefited from the use of BFR with low-load exercises. Further research to establish clinical guidelines for incorporating BFR in knee rehabilitation programs is warranted.
Kelley Moran– Associate Professor, Misericordia University, Dallas, Pennsylvania
Jacquelyn Bamberski– Doctor of Physical Therapy Student, Misericordia University, Feasterville, Pennsylvania
Megan Curry– Doctoral of Physical Therapy Student, Misericordia University, Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Carly Young– Doctoral of Physical Therapy Student, Misericordia University, Sturges, Pennsylvania