Q&A About BFR

Although BFR (blood-flow restriction) has grown in awareness, there are still plenty of questions about this innovative recovery technique used by specially-trained Physical Therapists. At Body One PT, BFR is used in certain treatment plans, based on your unique condition and Physical Therapist’s assessment. Here are some of the common questions people have about BFR:

  1. What is BFR? BFR stands for blood-flow restriction. Although the name may sound confusing or intimidating to some, it really just means we’re temporarily limiting full venous and partial arterial blood-flow to specific limbs using inflated, flexible cuffs, under supervision, for a short amount of time while you exercise. You’ll perform exercise with lighter weights, but your brain (and body) will perceive it as much harder effort. It reduces wear-and-tear on the body while providing maximum benefits.
  2. Is BFR painful? No. Your provider will determine the optimum fit and inflation of your BFR cuff, as well as the number of sets and repetitions of weight lifting, plus the weights to be used. It may feel like a harder weight lifting session, but it is not a painful experience.
  3. Is BFR Safe? BFR is very safe when used under the supervision of a trained Physical Therapy provider! At Body One, you’ll work with your provider who will fit and inflate your BFR cuff appropriately, and supervise your session. BFR in a Physical Therapy clinic is a great safe, treatment option.
  4. When is BFR used? We use BFR for a variety of treatment plans. People who have had surgical repair/reconstructions, fractures, sprains/strains, deconditioning, arthritis, and more can all benefit from BFR when a provider determines it’s appropriate.
  5. What’s different about BFR? BFR is unique in that works by being a sort of ‘brain hack.’ Instead of lifting a heavier weight, you restrict blood flow to a limb, and lift a lighter weight. Your brain thinks you’re working much harder than you are, and you’ll enjoy the benefit of your body releasing new growth hormone – as if you were lifting much heavier weights.
  6. Am I too old/young/injured, etc for BFR? BFR can be a great treatment option for many people, once your Physical Therapist determines your custom treatment plan. People of all ages, fitness levels, and recovery conditions can benefit from BFR.


If you have questions about BFR or are experiencing pain or problems of the musculoskeletal system, call or click today! Whether you’re working to get back on track, or are a weekend warrior who needs help recovering, Body One PT is ready with expert help. We’re locally-owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel, Fishers, and Zionsville. Our team of caring, expert providers sees patients of all ages and activity levels and we’d love to add you to our list of happy, recovering patients. Don’t wait to feel great, call or click to talk to the best PT team in Indy today!