Quadriceps strengthening with and without blood flow restriction in the treatment of patellofemoral pain: a double-blind randomised trial
A team from the La Trobe SEM Department, headed by Lachlan Giles, performed a double blind RCT looked into the effect of quadriceps strengthening with and without blood flow restriction in the treatment of patellofemoral pain. This was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) 12th May 2017. Click the blog title to access the paper.
Check out Lachlan talking about his research project in the video below;
What are the findings?
Blood flow restriction (BFR) training at 30% 1RM reduced pain with daily activity more than standardised quadriceps strengthening (70% 1RM) over 8 weeks in people with patellofemoral pain (PFP). There was no significant difference in worst pain or Kujala Patellofemoral Score.
People with PFP who have pain with resisted knee extension achieve greater improvement in quadriceps strength by performing exercises with BFR than standardised quadriceps strengthening.
How might it impact on clinical practice on the future?
Both standardised quadriceps strengthening and BFR can be used to reduce pain from PFP and increase quadriceps strength.
BFR may be a useful alternative for people with PFP who are not tolerating the load of standardised quadriceps strengthening programmes due to pain.