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I'm a very naive and biologically illiterate person, and from what I've read on the internet I'm not really sure I understand the difference between pulse and blood pressure. I'm guessing for most of you this is trivial so I'm hoping for something clear for someone of my "level".

On a side note, I speak french, and we have two words: pression / tension (artérielle). One of them must be wrong since they mean totally different things and makes things even more confusing.

But from what I could gather, are the next statements correct/accurate or am I completely off?

  • The blood pressure is the fluid's movement "strength" in the veins (or "arteries", please edit my post with the correct english word)
  • The "tension" is the force applied on the veins itself, kind of like when you're pulling a rubber band
  • The pulse is just the wave of blood moving, which creates different tensions over the vein and whose movement is created by the pressure.
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The blood pressure is the fluid's movement "strength" in the arteries (or "artères", please edit my post with the correct english word)

Blood pressure is a measurement of the strength of flow through the arteries. (I.e., the force per unit area exerted by the blood on arterial walls.) So replace vein with artery and your definition is correct.

The "tension" is the force applied on the veins itself, kind of like when you're pulling a rubber band

In cardiovascular terminology, hypertension and hypotension are used interchangeably with high and low blood pressure (even though technically tension uses force units and pressure uses force/unit area units). Your definition sounds more like arterial tensile strength, which is the ability of the artery to withstand pulling forces without breaking (which decreases with age).

The pulse is just the wave of blood moving, which creates different tensions over the vein and whose movement is created by the pressure.

Pulse is an indirect measurement of heart rate. So, yes, it's the rate of the "wave of blood moving." It creates different "pressures" measured by systolic (the "wave" in your terms) and diastolic (the "trough") whose movement is created by the force (of the heart walls contracting).

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There are many articles on pulse and blood pressure, but here's an analogy:

Think of the blood as a heavy iron block you are trying to move by hitting it with a sledgehammer. Blood pressure is how hard you hit with the hammer. Pulse (heart rate) is how often you hit with the hammer.

This analogy can be taken further if you like: There is also stroke volume which is how far the block moves each time you hit it with the hammer, and cardiac output, which is how fast the block moves on average as you hit it with a hammer (depending on the pulse and stroke volume). Vascular resistance is the friction on the block that makes it hard to move (demanding more blood pressure...)

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