2020 SACAD Entrants

Document Type




Entry Category

Empirical- Undergraduate


The purpose of this systematic review is to compare the effects of blood flow restriction training (BFRT) to traditional resistance training (RT) with regards to muscular strengthening with a consideration of pain during exercise. The research databases used included PEDro Physiotherapy Evidence Database and CINAHL. The key search terms used were blood flow restriction training, blood flow restriction exercise, occlusion training, occlusion exercise, musculoskeletal, and rehabilitation. Six different peer-reviewed research articles address this clinical intervention are included with their respective results and applicability. The population totaled 186 participants who participated in clinical trials (Bryk et al., 2016; Bunevičius et al., 2019; Erickson et al., 2019; Hughes et al., 2019; Iversen & Larmo, 2016; Ladlow et al., 2018). BFRT is shown to be beneficial and significantly more effective in muscular strengthening (Bryk et al., 2016; Erickson et al., 2019; Ladlow et al., 2018), functionality (Bryk et al., 2016; Bunevičius et al., 2019; Erickson et al., 2019; Ladlow et al., 2018), pain reduction during exercise (Bryk et al., 2016; Hughes et al., 2019; Ladlow et al., 2018), and muscular endurance (Bunevičius et al., 2019). However, one clinical trial found the use of BFRT found no significant difference in muscular strengthening when compared to a control group (p = 0.6265) (Iversen & Larmo, 2016). BFRT shows the potential to be a more effective means of training in rehabilitation when compared to traditional high load resistance training. However, further and more comprehensive research is required to prove its efficiency in clinical application.