Physical restraint refers to the practice of rendering people helpless or keeping them in captivity by means such as handcuffs, shackles, straitjackets, ropes, straps, or other forms of physical restraint. Alternatively, unarmed combat techniques or sheer force of numbers may be used to restrain a person.
For some types of restraint device that leave the arms and legs free, see safety harness.
For restraint for medical or psychiatric purposes, see medical restraint
Physical restraint may be used:
The misuse of physical restraint has resulted in many deaths. Physical restraint can be dangerous, sometimes in unexpected ways. Examples include:
For these and many other reasons, extreme caution is needed in the use of physical restraint.
Gagging a restrained person is highly risky, as it involves a substantial risk of asphyxia, both from the gag itself, and also from choking or vomiting and being unable to clear the airway. In practice, simple gags do not restrict communication much; however, this means that gags that are effective enough to prevent communication are generally also potentially effective at restricting breathing. Gags that prevent communication may also prevent the communication of distress that might otherwise prevent injury.