Pulse rate

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Pulse wave .jpg

Pulse/Heart rate is the wave of blood in the artery created by contraction of the left Ventricle during a cardiac cycle. The strength or amplitude of the pulse reflects the amount of blood ejected with myocardial contraction(stroke volume). Normal pulse rate range for an adult is between 60-100 beats per minute. A well-trained athlete may have a resting heart rate of 40 to 60 beats per minute, according to the American heart Association(AHA)[1].

Types of Pulse rate

Peripheral pulses: pulses that can be felt at the periphery of the body by palpating an artery over a bony prominence. Examples are Carotid, Radial and Popliteal pulses

Apical pulses: It is a central pulse located on the apex of the heart that is monitored using a stethoscope.[2]

parameters of Pulses

Rate: It is the number of pulsation which could be bradycardia (less than 60 beats per minute) or Tachycardia( more than 100 beat per minute)

Rhythm: it is the time interval between pulse beat[2]

Factors that Influence Heart Rate

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Emotions/Stress
  • Exercise
  • Medications[2]

Pulse site







Dorsalis pedis[2]

Indications of elevated pulse(tachycardia)

  1. Heart related conditions such as High blood pressure
  2. Poor blood supply to the myocardium due to coronary artery disease
  3. Thyroid disease(Hyperthyroidism)
  4. Electrolyte imbalance
  5. Alcohol
  6. Emotional stress[3]

Indication for reduced pulse rate(bradycardia)


2. Complication of heart surgery

3. Hypothyroidism


5. Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatic fever[4]

Physiotherapy Management

Therapist monitor the heart rate during exercise, the intensity and safe exercise level. Also therapist determine the level of intensity exercise the patient can bear either light or moderate or Heavy Exercise intensity zone[5].


  1. LIVESCIENCE. available from: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.livescience.com/42081-normal-heart-rate.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Susan B, Thomas J, George D. Physical Rehabilitation sixth edition. USA: F.A. Davis 2014.
  3. Medtronic. available from: www.medtronic,com/au-en/your-heart/conditions/fast-heartbeat.html
  4. Mayoclinic. available from: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bradycardia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355474
  5. ATI. available from: www,atipt.com/news/target-heart-rate-and-exercise.