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The feasibility, safety, and efficacy of upper limb garment-integrated blood flow restriction training in healthy adults

Dhokia, Bhavit and Mabin, Elspeth and Bradley, Warren Jeremy and Neal, Bradley (2022) 'The feasibility, safety, and efficacy of upper limb garment-integrated blood flow restriction training in healthy adults.' Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 8 (1). 34-. ISSN 2055-5784

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Background: Blood flow restriction training (BFR) has been demonstrated to increase muscle hypertrophy and strength, but has logistical and cost barriers. Garment-integrated BFR has the potential to reduce these barriers by lowering equipment demands and cost. The primary aim of the study was to explore the feasibility of garment-integrated BFR in the upper limb of healthy adults, with a secondary aim of exploring safety and efficacy. Methods: Physically active and otherwise healthy participants with no previous experience with BFR were sought. Eligible participants completed a five-week garment-integrated BFR programme that involved completing two sessions per week. Feasibility was determined by a priori defined thresholds for recruitment, adherence to the garment-integrated BFR programme, and data collection. Safety was determined by recording adverse events and by monitoring for total arterial occlusion pressure using a fingertip pulse oximeter. Efficacy was determined by measuring push-ups to volitional failure, arm girth, and number of prescribed repetitions completed. Feasibility and safety outcomes were reported descriptively or as a proportion with associated 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Mean change, 95% CIs, and associated effect sizes were calculated for efficacy outcomes. Results: Twenty-eight participants were included (15 men, 13 women; mean age 31.6 years [ 9.1]) and 27 successfully completed the study. Participants were successfully recruited within three months and 278/280 sessions were successfully completed (adherence=99.3%, 95% CI 97.4%, 99.9%). Minimal adverse events were reported; one incident of localised bruising (0.36%, 95% CI 0.06%, 2.0%) and three incidences of excessive pain during or post-exercise from two separate participants (1.07%, 95% CI 0.03%, 3.1%). 82/2240 pulse oximeter readings were not recorded (3.7%, 95% CI 2.9%, 4.5%). Mean push-ups to volitional failure increased by 40% (mean change=8.0, 95% CI 6, 10, d=1.40). Mean arm girth and number of prescribed repetitions completed were unchanged. Conclusions: Garment-integrated BFR is feasible and has no signal of important harm in the upper limb of healthy adults, and could proceed to a future trial with stop/go criteria for randomisation. Further work is required to investigate the efficacy of garment-integrated BFR and determine its equivalence or superiority compared to existing BFR methods.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Safety; Feasibility; Blood flow restriction; Kaatsu training; Occlusion training; BFR-integrated
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2022 17:28
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2022 12:48

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