Ways to Check Your Pulse

Ways to Check Your Pulse

How to check your Pulse?

Everybody is inquisitive to know their pulse rate. Pulse, pulse rate or heart rate means the number of times your heart beats per minute or a specific unit of time. The times contractions occur in the heart's ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart).

The Difference Between Your Pulse and Your Heart Rate Is:

  • Heart rate means the number of times your heart contracts in a given time.
  • Pulse (pulse rate) means the number of times the artery that you are checking bulges.
  • The pulse rate and the heart rate are the same except some times as the pulse rate depends on the contraction of heart and pushing of blood.

The heart rate is something that affects the person's behavior. The heart rate changes by the actions the person does. If you are sleeping the heart rate is normal when you are exercising the heart rate gets higher as there is exertion.

Find Your Pulse

The pulse can be found in the place where an artery passes which is close to the skin, such as your neck or wrist.

Ways to Find Your Pulse in Your Wrist:

  • Grasp one of your hands out while the palm is facing upwards and the elbow slightly bowed
  • Keep your index and middle fingers of the other hand on the wrist, just below the base of your thumb
  • Press both the fingers lightly on the skin till you feel your pulse
  • If there is no pulse you could either press harder or search with your fingers for the artery
  • As an artery goes through it Do not press your thumb on your wrist

To know your heart rate count the number of times of the beats for 20 seconds and then multiply by 3 this will give the heart rate per minute. You can also count till 30 seconds and multiply by 2 for an accurate figure.

Ways to Find Your Pulse on Your Neck (Carotid Artery):

The hearty rate can also be found on the neck just place the same fingers on the neck beside the Adams apple at the area that is hollow. Don’t press it too hard as it might choke you.

Other Ways of Checking Your Pulse

  • The superficial temporal artery - the temple
  • The popliteal artery - behind the knee
  • The basilar artery - close to the ear
  • The dorsalis pedis - the middle of dorsum of the foot (the back, or upper surface, of the foot)
  • The brachial artery - inside the elbow or under the biceps
  • The femoral artery - in the groin
  • The abdominal aorta - over the abdomen
  • The posterior tibial artery - the ankle joint
  • The apex of the heart - can be felt if you place your hand/fingers on your chest

Heart rate monitors or pulsometers are available that will help you to get accurate heart rate. A chest strap watch and a strapless monitor are used to find the heart rate.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad