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Artery vs. Vein: Comparing Industrial and Garden Hoses

Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFRT) relies on the capability to completely block venous flow (occlude) without fully occluding arterial flow. But how is this achieved?



Imagine veins as cheap garden hoses: easily kinkable. Stepping on them halts water flow entirely. Arteries, on the other hand, resemble industrial hoses—sturdy and difficult to compress. Even under significant pressure, like stepping on them or driving a car over them, they maintain most of their shape.


This difference in behavior is due to "compliance," which refers to the elasticity of the walls of veins and arteries. Veins are more compliant, meaning they are easier to compress with less pressure. This is largely because of the thinner muscle layer in their walls, known as the Tunica media, which offers less resistance to compression.


Additionally, the internal pressure within these vessels plays a role. Venous pressure ranges from 12 mmHg to 20 mmHg, much lower than arterial (systolic) pressure, which typically ranges from 110 mmHg to 130 mmHg. The higher pressure in arteries makes them more resistant to compression.


When a cuff is tightened around the "neurovascular bundle"—the path that contains an artery, vein, and nerve—it initially fully compresses the vein but only partially compresses the artery.



Understanding these concepts puts you ahead of most professionals in terms of knowledge!

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