The effects of low-intensity resistance training with blood flow restriction versus traditional resistance exercise on lower extremity muscle strength and motor functionin ischemic stroke survivors: a randomized controlled trial

Ahmed I., Mustafoglu R., ERHAN B.

TOPICS IN STROKE REHABILITATION, vol.31, no.4, pp.418-429, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10749357.2023.2259170
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.418-429
  • Keywords: balance, gait impairment, strength training, Stroke, walking capacity
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


BackgroundBlood flow restriction (BFR) training can temporarily reduce cortical GABA concentrations and increase the size of motor volleys to deafferented muscles, which can promote motor recovery in stroke survivors.ObjectiveTo determine the effect of low-intensity resistance training with BFR (LIRT-BFR) on lower extremity muscle strength, balance, functional mobility, walking capacity, gait speed, anxiety, and depression in stroke survivors and to compare the results with high-intensity resistance training (HIRT).MethodIt was a two-arm, single-blinded, randomized controlled trial in which 32 ischemic stroke participants were randomly allocated to LIRT-BFR or HIRT group. The LIRT-BFR group received low load resistance training (40% of 1-Repetition Maximum (1-RM)) with BFR, whereas HIRT group received high load resistance training (80% of 1-RM). The 6-Minute Walk Test (6-MWT), five-time sit-to-stand test (5TSTST), Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, and Barthel index were the primary outcome measures. The secondary outcome measures included gait speed (m/s), stride length (cm), cadence (steps/min), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression.ResultsAll the primary and secondary outcome measures were significantly improved in both groups (p < 0.05). The LIRT-BFR group showed a slightly greater, but non-significant, improvement as compared to the HIRT group in terms of mean change observed in 6-MWT (81 m vs 62 m), 5TSTST (-5.27 vs -4.81), gait speed (0.19 vs 0.12), stride length (18 vs 13), and cadence (8 vs 6). No adverse event was reported.ConclusionLIRT-BFR produced a significant improvement in muscle strength, balance, walking capacity, and anxiety and depression in ischemic stroke patients, and the improvement are comparable to HIRT.Clinical Trial RegistrationNCT05281679