Blood flow restriction resistance training in a recreationally active person with Parkinson's disease

Physiother Theory Pract. 2022 Mar;38(3):422-430. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2020.1762812. Epub 2020 May 13.


Background: Blood flow restriction (BFR) applied during low intensity resistance training (LIRT) exercise produces hypertrophy and strength gains equivalent to traditional training. The effectiveness of BFR-LIRT on persons with Parkinson Disease (PD) has not been investigated.Objective: To determine the effects of BFR-LIRT on a recreationally active person with PD in regards to function, strength, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and safety. Methods: A single subject, A-B-A design was utilized. Each phase lasted 6 weeks. Outcome measures included: 30-second sit-to-stand; Timed Up and Go (TUG); RLS Questionnaire; 3-RM of Cybex Leg Press (LP); Leg Curl (LC); and Leg Extension (LE) measured every 3 weeks for 18 weeks. The intervention phase (B, weeks 6-12) included four lower extremity resistance exercises (LP, LC, LE, calf presses on the LP) with the addition of BFR. The two standard deviation band method was used to determine significance.Results: All outcome measures except the TUG improved significantly by the end of intervention phase.Conclusion: The combination of BFR with LIRT safely lead to an increase in lower extremity strength and function in a person with PD, while decreasing their RLS (improvement from moderate to mild symptoms) resulting in a better quality of life for the participant.

Keywords: Blood flow restriction; Parkinson Disease; exercise; strength training.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Parkinson Disease* / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease* / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Resistance Training*