Why Doppler US is Critical for Safety with BFR in Clinical Rehab Populations

As an objective measure, I strongly advocate for the use of Doppler Ultrasound when using BFR in the clinical and rehabilitation populations. Doppler Ultrasound allows the clinician to individualize the pressures for each client or patient by finding their limb occlusion pressure (LOP). Limb occlusion pressure is minimum amount of pressure that occludes blood flow to the limb. Remember, we want to restrict blood flow, not occlude it! The LOP also takes into account the patient’s limb and vessel characteristics as well as the type of cuff that is being utilized.

Therefore, every time a patient comes in and I am going to use BFR, I retake their LOP for that day or limb. Hydration and other factors like time of day can slightly alter LOP so it’s best to recheck and monitor. At the very least, make sure to check for arterial blood flow using manual palpation of the radial or brachial artery in the upper extremity, and the dorsalis pedis or posterior tibial artery in the lower extremity.

Motus Physical Therapy and Performance is the ONLY clinic in Amherst, NH that provides blood flow restriction (BFR) training. Schedule an appointment to shorten your rehab times!

Check out this video I made that describes the use of Doppler US with BFR