Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training dates back to Japan in the 1960s, when Dr. Yoshiaki Sato developed kaatsu training which translates to “training with added pressure.” Later, the treatment method was termed blood flow restriction training because it uses a cuff or tourniquet to restrict blood flow to the working muscles. 

As one of the most effective treatment techniques in a physical therapist’s repertoire, blood flow restriction (BFR) training can improve your strength without the burden of heavy lifting. As such, it’s extremely beneficial and safe to use as you recover from an injury or surgery. 

BFR works by wrapping a blood flow restriction band around your arms or legs, like a blood pressure cuff. Then, the blood flow restriction bands are inflated with air to an individualized pressure that restricts blood flow to your vessels underneath. The ultimate goal is to apply enough pressure to restrict the blood leaving the muscles while still allowing some blood flow into the muscles that are working.

One of the reasons why blood flow restriction therapy is widely used in physical therapy is because it allows you to build muscle at loads lower than 65% of your 1 rep max (1RM). By using smaller loads, you’re producing a muscle “burn” or “pump” that is typically only seen with higher training sessions. In turn, the muscle pump triggers a natural release of hormones throughout your body that are needed for muscle growth. 

What’s even more impressive is that there is a growing pile of research to show that BFR can also help your tendons, bones, and even blood vessels. Other recent studies found that blood flow restriction therapy can lower pain levels, especially after surgery, for up to 24 hours.

Peak Physiotherapy and Performance can help treat your injuries with blood flow restriction training in Columbus, Ohio.

Initially, blood flow restriction training was used in healthy, older adults as a way to slow down the aging process. Now, it’s been shown to be safe for all ages, especially individuals who cannot lift heavy loads, like after surgery or injury. This is particularly useful for people who have weight-lifting restrictions or pain when progressing through a strengthening program. 

Blood flow restriction training is most effective when used in combination with other physical therapy treatment techniques: accurate diagnosis, dry needling, cupping therapy, corrective exercises, and joint manipulation. Together, they assist in addressing strength changes after surgery: knee surgery, ankle surgery, elbow pain, ACL reconstruction, knee meniscus repair, hip replacement, knee replacement, rotator cuff repair, or most other tendon repairs. BFR also assists in naturally healing: tendonitis, tennis elbow, rotator cuff pain, knee sprains, patellofemoral pain, plantar fasciitis, and muscle strains.

Like most treatments, there are always risks associated with blood flow restriction training. However, the doctors of physical therapy at Peak Physiotherapy & Performance are more than capable of making sure you’re safe while undergoing BFR. Additionally, Drs. Junak and Billings can easily find your 1RM, which ensures you are lifting at the right exercise dosage that is safe for BFR. 

It’s important to know that, while blood flow restriction training does not hurt, it may initially feel uncomfortable, especially for those who are out of shape. Some possible side effects after treatment may include muscle soreness, lightheadedness, mild bruising, or fatigue. 

People with a history of deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, high blood pressure, and certain types of cardiac disease may not be appropriate for blood flow restriction training.

At Peak Physiotherapy and Performance, we pride ourselves on providing treatments that are backed by robust research, and choosing to become one of the only physical therapy clinics to offer blood flow restriction training in Columbus is no different. Keep in mind, BFR is always used in combination with several other treatment techniques to maximize pain relief and get you back to doing what you love as fast as possible. Peak Physiotherapy and Performance has two office locations in which we provide blood flow restriction training in Columbus, Ohio. We have one location that provides blood flow restriction training in Blacklick and another location that provides blood flow restriction training in Canal Winchester.


5209 Ebright Rd #1
Canal Winchester, Ohio 43110
(614) 467-0285

Fax: (614) 569-2378



6788 Kilowatt Cir Suite 1,
Blacklick, Ohio 43004
(614) 467-0285

Fax: (614) 569-2378

Hours of Operation:

Monday: 6:00am-8:00pm
Tuesday: 6:00am-8:00pm
Wednesday: 6:00am-8:00pm
Thursday: 6:00am-8:00pm
Friday: 6:00am-8:00pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed