Personalized Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation

West Des Moines, IA US
May 6, 2023


Registration Fee

  • Clinician - $650
  • Student - $450


If you have questions, please contact Owens Recovery Science at 210-767-1856 or via email.


Personalized Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation (PBFR) is a paradigm-shifting intervention for the rehabilitation professional with hundreds of peer-reviewed articles in the scientific literature. Applying a tourniquet briefly and intermittently to an exercising limb can induce significant and substantial strength, hypertrophy, and endurance changes while using a very light load.

Brief Abstract

Current ACSM guidelines recommend that individuals perform resistance training at a load of >65% one repetition maximum (1RM) to achieve strength and hypertrophy gains. However, individuals undergoing rehabilitation after injury or surgery are often contraindicated to perform such loads. A novel technique, Blood Flow Restriction Training, has demonstrated that the utilization of a tourniquet system applied to the proximal portion of an exercising limb can allow individuals to gain strength and hypertrophy greater than work-matched controls and similar to high load training while utilizing very low loads (20-30% 1 RM).

Desired Education Level

Candidates for the course must hold an active medical license and have completed the necessary coursework and degrees fulfillment for the occupations listed below.

  • Athletic Trainers
  • Physical Therapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Medical Doctors
  • Occupational Therapists

Program Purpose

Mastering the course objectives will prepare the clinician to understand and utilize blood flow restriction (BFR) training. This rigorously researched area (hundreds of published peer-reviewed articles) allows individuals to restore strength and hypertrophy safely after injury with very low loads.

The clinician will learn the physiological principles behind blood flow restriction training, including enhanced muscle protein synthesis, systemic responses, and increased gene expression. From this, the clinician will be introduced to the use of BFR in clinical settings to improve strength and hypertrophy after surgery or injury, mitigate the atrophy associated with disuse or non-weight bearing and learn the potential role of BFR on bone healing.

The clinician will need to use a specialized surgical tourniquet to perform this technique. The FDA regulates tourniquets and lists them as Class I medical devices. This course will instruct the clinician in proper tourniquet safety, including AORN guidelines. This will include understanding and measuring limb occlusion pressure, pneumatic tourniquets, and proper tourniquet cuffs that minimize potential injury.

This is an advanced level of difficulty course secondary to the need to have a strong science foundation to understand the physiological principles. This treatment is not covered as core coursework for ATCs, PTs, and OTs. 

Learning Objectives

By attending this one-day training course for PBFR training, clinicians will be able to:

  • Translate the physiology behind mechanical tension compared to metabolic accumulation training and the downstream effects.
  • Manipulate blood flow restriction protocols to create a local or systemic response within the soft tissues.
  • Differentiate limb occlusion pressures objectively for each individual athlete/patient.
  • Translate appropriate tourniquet safety measures to the outpatient/training room setting.
  • Recommend and implement a rehabilitation blood flow restriction protocol for patients after injury or surgery.

Expected Outcomes

After the course, the healthcare provider will be proficient in the science and mechanisms of BFR. Additionally, they will be versed in applying BFR for clinical applications and the appropriate risks and contraindications. Competency will be demonstrated during lab check-offs in proper tourniquet system use, limb occlusion pressure determination, and exercise prescription and monitoring. Lastly, proficiency will also be demonstrated on a post-course examination.


Brett Nowotny, PT, DPT

Dr. Nowotny treats a variety of orthopedic conditions. He takes a special interest in returning tactical athletes like firefighters, police officers, and service members to their highest level of function. Brett also enjoys rehabilitating patients after knee surgeries and helping them regain their active lifestyles. He has specialty certifications in personalized blood flow restriction rehabilitation and dry needling. He is an Astym provider and a certified instructor for Owens Recovery Science and teaches across the United States.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

To ensure the safety of course participants and Owens Recovery Science (ORS) staff, all attendees are expected to comply with current CDC guidelines and host site protocols regarding masks (we recommend wearing a mask at the course), hygiene, and distancing when attending an ORS certification course. If you are unvaccinated, have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or are experiencing signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please do not attend the course.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 8.50 CE Contact Hour(s)
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
05/06/2023 - 8:00am CDT
Event ends: 
05/06/2023 - 5:30pm CDT

All times are listed in Central Time. The agenda is subject to change.

8:00 amIntroduction to ORS and Blood Flow Restriction Training
8:15 amHistory of Blood Flow Restriction and Evolution into Clinical Practice
8:40 amBFR Methods: Occlusion Pressure
9:00 amBreak
9:05 amLab One: Cuff Selection and Measuring Occlusion Pressure
9:40 amBreak
9:45 amBFR Methods: Intro to Passive, Endurance, and Resistance Applications
10:15 amBFR Mechanisms: iEMG, Myostatin, IGF-1, MSC’s, Myocyte Swelling,
10:45 amSafety: Clotting, Hemodynamics, Muscle Damage
11:15 amLab Two: Lower Extremity Exercise
12:00 pmLunch
1:00 pmSkeletal Muscle: Understanding Anabolic Resistance
1:20 pm Prehab: Metabolic Stress, Scar, Blood Flow, Muscle Protein Synthesis
1:40 pmAcute Rehab: Timing and Research to Support Early Interventions
2:05 pmLab Three: Upper Extremity Exercises
2:45 pm Break
2:50 pmChasing Optimal: Nutritional Considerations
3:05 pmEndurance Exercise Research and Understanding Key Parameters
3:30 pmBFR for Analgesia: Research and Potential Mechanisms
3:45 pmBFR Resistance Exercise: Potential Targets and Key Parameters
4:10 pmEffects for the Proximal Muscles: Theories and Research for the Hip and
4:30 pmClinical Reasoning: Entry Points and Decision-Making on Indications
4:40 pmBFR and Bone
4:50 pmBFR and Tendon
5:00 pmApplications for Older Populations
5:15 pmWrap Up and Group Exam
5:30 pmAdjourn


Des Moines University Clinic Physical Therapy
Located at The MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex
6500 Grand Ave
West Des Moines, IA 50266
United States

Available Credit

  • 8.50 CE Contact Hour(s)


Please login or Create an Account to take this course.

Registration Fee

  • Clinician - $650
  • Student - $450


If you have questions, please contact Owens Recovery Science at 210-767-1856 or via email.