Knowing your pulse rate is important to know if you have a healthy heart. It is a practice that has been performed for centuries by doctors. They try to feel the blood flow by palpating an artery. It should be noted that the pulse can be felt in various areas of the body. But to measure it properly, you need to know the right gestures to apply. Indeed, certain factors such as stress and anxiety can accelerate the heartbeat, which can distort the pulse measurement. In fact, how is the pulse taken? How can you best feel it on your body? Is it necessary to go to a doctor? Find the answers in this article.
The pulse: what do you need to know about it?
When a heart muscle contracts within a blood vessel, it causes a wave. It is the transmission of this wave that corresponds to the pulse. In concrete terms, the pulse is equivalent to the result of the blood coming to the arterythe pulse is the result of the blood flowing into the artery, which in turn is the result of the left ventricle of the heart contracting. The impression of a discontinuous heartbeat can be felt when an artery is compressed with the fingertip. The heart rate is therefore reflected by the perceived beat rate and is presented as the amount of contractions that the heart makes in one minute, expressed in beats per minute.
How do you take your pulse?
To measure the pulse, you must first perform a palpitation. To do this, you must apply the pulp of the index finger and the ring finger to the arterial pathway. It is this pressure that helps to perceive a pulsatile wave. It is possible to feel the pulse on several regions of the bodyit is possible to feel the pulse in several areas of the body, when these are crossed by one or several arteries. These areas also define the type of pulse that can be taken:
- Radial pulse: it is measured at the inner part of the wrist of the man;
- Ulnar pulse: it is found slightly above the first pulse;
- Carotid pulse: it is located in the neck;
- Femoral pulse: it is measured in the groin area;
- Pedal pulse: it is found at the level of the foot, particularly at the level of the tibia;
- Popliteal pulse: it is located in the hollow behind the knee;
- Posterior tibial pulse: it is on the inside of the ankle, near the malleolus.
Taking the pulse makes it possible to evaluate several signs. First of all, it is the number of pulses over several beats. These include 15, 30 and usually 60 seconds. The result obtained is to be reported over 1 minute in order to have the heart rate. Then, it is the regularity of the pulse and its amplitude. It should be noted that apart from this method, it is also possible to use a stethoscope or an oximeter.
How to better feel the pulse on the whole body?
You should start by putting the tip of your index and middle fingers on one of the areas of the body and apply light pressure to feel the pulse wave. Using a stopwatch, a watch or simply a timer, you need to count the pulses for a specific time. When counting over 30 seconds, multiply the number by two to find the rhythm per minute.
When the number is less than 40 or more than 120, it is recommended to make an appointment with a health professional. However, when the result is approximate, it is advisable to use an oximeter or to consult a physician. A doctor has the skills to measure the pulse throughout the body. He is also able to identify the signs of a heart problem and provide advice.