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PROVIDERS: Why should you be listed on www.bfrproviders.com?

As providers, as more and more physicians are referring their patients to seek out BFR as part of their post-injury or post-surgical rehabilitation plans, how can they find you? BFRProviders.com is a search engine designed to provide the public and physician referral sources a trusted way to refer patients to providers professionally trained in BFR. As the demand continues to grow, how will you differentiate yourself from the thousands of other providers in your field? Listing yourself in this directory is an easy way to increase exposure for your business, your expertise and drive perspective patients to you. Moreover, the ability to list multiple certifications from the variety of BFR educational opportunities can further showcase your expertise in this growing area of rehabilitation and sports performance.

PROVIDERS: Is there a cost to be ‘listed’ as a BFR Provider?

BFRProviders.com are offering early adopters a FREE listing in our directory (through 03/2023)! We believe that patients and clients should be easily able to find a provider in their area who can accelerate their recovery by utilizing BFR alongside other traditional modalities.

PROVIDERS: Is my information shared with any third parties?

No – we do not share any information received in our provider intake form to any third parties without your consent.

Patients/Clients/Physician Referral Sources: Why www.bfrproviders.com?

As BFR continues to expand into clinical and fitness practices, more professionals are adopting BFR training into their rehabilitation and performance protocols. However, as a perspective client/patient or referring physician, how do you know the person you’re about to see or refer a client/patient to is professionally educated and trained in BFR? If you have some general knowledge of the industry, you’d probably search individual certification bodies for certified providers, but the likelihood is that the average person reading this won’t have any idea who those education providers are or how to find professionals trained in BFR! BFRProviders.com is your one-stop shop to find professionally trained BFR providers across all disciplines in the healthcare continuum who have been vetted to be “certified” before being listed. What’s ‘vetted’ mean? Well, we’ve compiled all the major BFR certification providers in our ‘certification’ breakdown so you can find the right person for you! If you don’t know or care about their certifications, you can leave ‘certifications’ blank and find a local BFR trained provider nearest your zip code! Whether you’re looking for a personal trainer with an expertise in BFR or a physical therapist for post-surgical rehabilitation, you can be sure to find them here!

Patients/Clients/Physician Referral Sources: What is Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) and How Does it Work?

BFR involves applying a device such as a pressure cuff, KAATSU device, or even knee wraps around the top portion of a limb to temporarily restrict blood flow out of the working muscle. During properly performed BFR, venous flow is completely occluded, while arterial flow is partially occluded. Blood is allowed to enter the muscle, but is prevented from leaving, accelerating the fatigue process through metabolic stress and hypoxia (i.e., lack of oxygen) during resistance and aerobic training. The temporary reduction in blood flow to the exercising muscle causes greater muscle activation and anabolic signaling when compared to the same intensity of exercise done without BFR. BFR allows the exerciser to achieve the benefits of heavy load and high intensity training while using significantly lighter loads as low as 20% 1RM!

Patients/Clients/Physician Referral Sources: Does Blood Flow Restriction Training Really Work?

Low-load blood flow restriction training is an expanding area of research focus in both clinical and performance settings due to its unique potential benefits in comparison to similar exercise performed without BFR. Training studies have shown BFR typically outperforms low-intensity training without BFR in various domains that are highly relevant to rehabilitation and fitness practitioners including muscle hypertrophy and strength, cardiovascular capacity, time to exhaustion, functional task performance and post-exercise pain-relieving responses. Recent systematic reviews have also shown that low-load BFR training promotes similar muscle hypertrophy and strength gains as moderate to heavy load strength training (≥60% 1RM), highlighting the important role BFR training may play in rehabilitation settings to optimize performance in sedentary and recreationally active participants. Other reviews have focused on the potential for BFR to enhance athletic performance using aerobic and resistance training, expanding the potential utility of this modality to highly trained individuals.

Patients/Clients/Physician Referral Sources: Does BFR Increase Strength?

Strength is multifactorial and tends to favor heavy load training for a number of reasons (specificity being the main one!). If the goal is purely strength and the participant can tolerate heavy loads, they should use heavy loads. If, however, heavy loads are contraindicated or not practical due to post-surgery precautions or following an injury, light load BFR training is a great option in lieu of traditional light weight exercises typical of rehabilitation. The evidence suggests that light load training with BFR outperforms traditional light load training when it comes to strength gains. So if you are able to lift heavy, lift heavy. If you are restricted to light loads, use BFR – it’s really that simple!

Patients/Clients/Physician Referral Sources: What Are the Benefits of BFR Training?

Possible benefits of BFR training include:

  • Hypertrophy
  • Strength
  • Reducing Atrophy (Muscle wasting)
  • Aerobic Capacity (VO2max)
  • Pain Modulation
  • Positive Stimulus for Augmenting Bone Mineral Density
  • Sarcopenia
  • Fall Prevention in the Elderly
  • Angiogenesis (Supporting cardiovascular health)
  • Tendinopathy (Managing symptoms)

Patients/Clients/Physician Referral Sources: Is BFR Training Safe?

Yes, BFR appears to be safe and follows similar precautions as traditional resistance training. Some agreed upon contraindications for BFR training include the presence of clotting disorders, a history of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pregnancy, severe venous insufficiency, and hypertension (although this is usually on a case-by-case basis). The cuff should always be applied proximally on the limb (upper arm or upper thigh), using an appropriate pressure, and for an appropriate duration. When determining pressure, practical BFR can be used (7/10 tightness), but to ensure absolute safety, a percentage of limb occlusion pressure (LOP) should be used (40-50% LOP for the arms; 60-80% LOP for the legs). BFR application should be about 5-20 min and should not exceed 20 minutes without restoring free flow. Always be sure that a pulse can be detected on the working limb and immediately release the pressure if numbness or tingling is felt. Certified BFR providers are trained to administer BFR safely and confidently in a variety of ways that will depend on the patient, the BFR equipment used, and the injury and/or post-surgical precautions. You should feel safe that any clinical decision to integrate BFR into a plan of care will be made with consideration of the risks/benefits in consultation with the client/patient and/or physician referral source.

Patients/Clients/Physician Referral Sources: What does a BFR training session look like?

Just like exercise, BFR training can be programmed several different ways and everyone likely has a slightly different screening process so it’s challenging to predict what your initial BFR training session would entail. However, what can be expected is that your BFR experience will be something like this:

You will be screened to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for BFR training.

  1. If you are appropriate for BFR, the certified BFR Provider will determine the appropriate pressure for you during exercise. This may mean inflating the device to a high enough pressure to assess your limb occlusion pressure. While going through this process, the cuff will get really tight around your limb – something like getting your blood pressure taken. There should be no numbness or tingling experienced at all during BFR – even during the assessment process!
  2. Your provider will inflate or program the device to a personalized pressure specific to you.
  3. Exercise! Sometimes, your BFR provider will do a short familiarization session that may just be inflating the cuff while you rest so you can get used to the feeling of the restriction. Other times, your provider may start you with some aerobic or resistance exercise with a modified protocol to reduce the occurrence of anything happening while you get used to the stimulus. Typically, the most used resistance training protocol is 4 sets composed of 30 repetitions in the first set and 3 sets of 15 repetitions in the last three sets for a total of 75 repetitions. Usually, the cuff is inflated for no more than 10 minutes at a time with at least a minute of rest in-between exercises where the cuff is deflated.
  4. Discomfort! BFR training is uncomfortable. This is how you know it is working! If you are not uncomfortable during BFR training (think the end of a hard run or the last reps of a difficult strength training set), you are likely not achieving the stimulus needed to obtain the positive benefits of BFR (in most situations!). While exercising into discomfort is – well – uncomfortable, it doesn’t last. Like regular exercise, once you stop, it goes away!