Why do we check the pulses in your feet?
Sometimes our feet can be the first indication that something is not quite right in other places in the body. We check the pulses in your feet to help give us an idea of how healthy your heart is. Our feet are the furthest body part away from the heart and it’s important we know that they are getting a good vascular supply. This is especially important if you have Diabetes or conditions that affect your circulation.
We will try and feel your foot pulses with our hand first and then we use a device called a doppler to hear the pluses. When are listening to the pulses we are checking for-
1. One of three sounds either - triphasic, biphasic or monophasic.
Triphasic sound is when the beat sound is in three parts. As we age, vessels naturally loose their elasticity resulting in biphasic signals which can be heard as 2 sounds. Monophasic only produces one sound and usually denotes vessel damage.
2. The regularity of the sounds.
Alongside how many sounds we are hearing we also want to know if the sound is regular. We will need to listen to the pulses for a minute or so to get a good idea of the rhythm. Sometimes the heart can beat in an irregular rhythm which is known as arrhythmia.
3. The strength of the sound
This is sometimes hard to regulate as it can be dependent on the machine and the application, but we are generally wanting a strong sound when using the doppler.
If we do find something that need further checking we will make sure we refer back to your GP.
Lousie and Team x