Blood-flow restriction training is achieved through the application of external pressure over the extremities. The applied pressure is sufficient to maintain arterial inflow while occluding venous outflow distal to the occlusion site. The goal is to enable patients to make greater strength gains while lifting lighter loads, thereby reducing the overall stress placed on the limb.
Physical therapists have an existing firm foundation in anatomy, physiology, therapeutic exercise, and the cardiorespiratory system, as well as clinical reasoning, which are the components of the safe application of blood flow restriction training.
Physical therapist education provides PTs with the requisite knowledge (muscular and vascular anatomy, and physiology and exercise physiology), as well as skills (therapeutic exercise prescription, monitoring of physiological vital signs and blood flow) to perform and monitor this type of therapeutic exercise. BFRT is part of the professional scope of practice for physical therapists.