Vascular studies utilize specialized equipment to assess the blood flow in veins and arteries. Pain in the groin or leg, or numbness in the toes or hand could be an indication that you need a proper evaluation. A prompt diagnosis will usually improve the chances of resolving a health condition. Although some conditions are treated successfully with natural therapy, others may require surgery. All Health Chiropractic and Acupuncture Center’s skilled physician’s will provide you with a complete diagnosis and discuss a treatment option that’s right for you.
Vascular studies are tests that check the blood flow in your arteries and veins. These tests are noninvasive. This means they don’t use any needles. Vascular studies use high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to measure the amount of blood flow in your blood vessels.
Vascular studies may use one of these special types of ultrasound technology: Doppler ultrasound. This allows a healthcare provider to see blood flow through arteries and veins. The amount of blood pumped with each heartbeat is a sign of how large a vessel’s opening is. A Doppler ultrasound can also find abnormal blood flow in a vessel, which may mean there is a blockage. Color Doppler. This is an enhanced form of Doppler ultrasound. It uses different colors to show the direction of blood flow. A vascular study may be done to:
Check signs and symptoms that may mean you have decreased blood flow in arteries or veins in your neck, legs, or arms
Assess procedures you have had done before to restore blood flow to an area
Assess a vascular dialysis device (such as an A-V fistula in the arm)
There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a vascular study.
Health problems that may cause decreased blood flow in arteries or veins include:
Atherosclerosis. A slow clogging of the arteries over many years by fatty materials (plaque) and other substances in the blood stream.
Aneurysm. An enlargement (dilation) of part of the heart muscle, or of the body’s main artery (the aorta). This may cause tissue weakness at the aneurysm site.
Thrombus or embolus. A blood clot that forms in a blood vessel is a thrombus. An embolus is a small mass of material that moves through blood vessels to another part of the body, but gets stuck in a vessel.
Inflammatory conditions. Swelling (inflammation) in a blood vessel may occur because of an injury or an irritating medicine that gets into the vessel. It can also be caused by infection or an autoimmune disorder.
Varicose veins. Large, bulging veins in the leg. They occur when valves in the leg veins don’t work well, allowing blood to collect in the lower leg.
Symptoms that may occur when blood flow decreases to your legs include:
Leg pain or weakness during exertion (claudication)
Soreness, tenderness, redness, or warmth in the leg
Pale and cool skin, may even be a grayish or blue color
Numbness or tingling
Foot pain that occurs when sitting or lying down, and is relieved by standing (rest pain)