Chinese Journal of Tissue Engineering Research ›› 2022, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (17): 2762-2767.doi: 10.12307/2022.548

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Blood flow restriction method for inducing cross-education phenomenon and muscle function reconstruction

Wang Yongchao1, 2, Wang Baochen3, 4, Wei Zhuying5, Bao Chunyu1, 2, Liu Shijun6, Meng Qinghua1   

  1. 1School of Physical Education and Educational Science, 2Tianjin Key Laboratory of Exercise Physiology and Sports Medicine, 3Teaching Experiment and Training Center, 4Tianjin Teaching Experimental Demonstration Center for Physical Training, 5Division of Scientific Research and Postgraduate, 6Department of Competitive Sports, Tianjin University of Sport, Tianjin 301617, China
  • Received:2021-03-24 Revised:2021-05-08 Accepted:2021-05-26 Online:2022-06-18 Published:2021-12-27
  • Contact: Bao Chunyu, MD, Professor, School of Physical Education and Educational Science, Tianjin University of Sport, Tianjin 301617, China; Tianjin Key Laboratory of Exercise Physiology and Sports Medicine, Tianjin University of Sport, Tianjin 301617, China
  • About author:Wang Yongchao, Master candidate, School of Physical Education and Educational Science, Tianjin University of Sport, Tianjin 301617, China; Tianjin Key Laboratory of Exercise Physiology and Sports Medicine, Tianjin University of Sport, Tianjin 301617, China
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Nos. 11372223 and 11102135 (to MQH); Key Project of Tianjin Municipal Natural Science Foundation, Nos. 17JCZDJC36000 and 18JCZDJC35900 (to MQH); Tianjin Philosophy and Social Science Planning Project, No. TJTY18-010 (to LSJ); the General Project of Humanities and Social Science Research in Tianjin Colleges and Universities, No. 2019SK091 (to WBC)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cross-education phenomenon and blood flow restriction have been studied in the field of sports rehabilitation. However, the traditional resistance training still occupies the dominant position in the induction of cross-education phenomenon, and blood flow restriction method derived from it has received little attention. Several studies have confirmed that blood flow restriction has a significant inducing effect on cross-education phenomenon, but no comparative experiment has been found on the effect of traditional resistance training versus blood flow restriction on cross-education phenomenon.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the generating mechanism of cross-education phenomenon and the mechanism of blood flow restriction, and to explore the greater benefits and wider clinical application of blood flow restriction in inducing cross-education phenomenon.
METHODS: The first author searched for relevant literature in the Web of Science, PubMed, and EMbase, analyzed and summarized relevant high-quality articles for final review. 
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Low-load blood flow restriction resistance training is a unique alternative to non-blood flow restriction resistance training, which can induce greater neuromuscular adaptability under less mechanical stress and exercises. Blood flow restriction can be used as a new exercise scheme to reduce muscle strength and muscle loss after rehabilitation and during limb fixation. Meanwhile, blood flow restriction also provides a unique mechanism, which can be used alone or combined with exercise to potentially increase the muscle strength and muscle mass of the contralateral untrained limb. The most important conduction pathway of cross-education phenomenon is carried by the nervous system, the recruitment of motor units by blood flow restriction training is accelerated and improved, and the higher neuromuscular adaptability is stimulated by local higher metabolic pressure, all of which make blood flow restriction training a more efficient prerequisite for inducing cross-education phenomenon. At present, due to the limited sample size and the lack of a clear definition of pressure scope in blood flow restriction training, there are still many problems to be solved in the practical application of blood flow restriction-cross-education, including the range of pressure used in clinical application, the different responses of patients at different ages to different pressures, and how to urge patients to complete the whole cycle of rehabilitation training under the pain of training. In the future, strengthening the exploration of cross-education phenomenon induced by blood flow restriction will make a larger breakthrough in the clinical application of cross-education phenomenon.

Key words: cross-education, blood flow restriction, resistance training, neuromuscular adaptation, skeletal muscle hypertrophy, power growth, review, exercise rehabilitation

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