What is a Doppler Ultrasound? Purpose, Preparation, Procedure, Results

What is a Doppler Ultrasound? Purpose, Preparation, Procedure, Results

What is a Doppler Ultrasound?

A Doppler ultrasound is a relatively safe test that is used to estimate the blood flow in the vessels of your body. A Doppler ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves in order to measure the amount of blood flow in your body.  This is technically the same method used by an ultrasound procedure, but the difference is, an ultrasound can’t exactly show blood flow.

What is a Doppler Ultrasound: Purpose

A Doppler ultrasound can serve many purposes, as it is able to help diagnose various diseases and conditions related to your bloodstream. Your attending physician may choose to subject you to a Doppler ultrasound when you are showing signs and symptoms of decreased blood flow, especially in your arms, legs, and your neck. Some of the conditions that a Doppler ultrasound can help diagnose are:

  • Arteriosclerosis- arteriosclerosis is a condition that involves the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, especially those that supply blood to the legs.
  • DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis- is another condition involving your bloodstream that occurs when a blood clot develops in a deep vein inside your body. This usually occurs in the deep veins of your leg or hips.
  • Thromboangitis Obliterans- this is one of the more rare diseases that can happen in your bloodstream that involves the blood vessels in your hands and feet become swollen and inflamed.
  • Superficial Thrombophlebitis- this condition is defined as an inflammation of the veins of your body caused by a blood clot. This usually happens just below the skin’s surface.

Other Conditions that a Doppler Ultrasound can help diagnose are:

  • Vascular tumors in the arms and legs
  • Blood clots
  • Aneurysms or bulging arteries
  • Heart valve defects
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Carotid artery stenosis- the narrowing of an artery, most commonly happens in the neck
  • Peripheral Artery Disease- decreased blood circulation in the extremities of the body ( such as in the legs)
  • Arterial occlusion- a blocked artery

What is A Doppler Ultrasound: How Should I Prepare for one?

Usually, a patient about to undergo a Doppler ultrasound doesn’t have to do any preparations other than to prepare him/herself to go to the appointment on time. People who smoke, however, might be required by the doctor to stop smoking a few hours before being made to go through the test. This is because the act of smoking causes one’s blood vessels to narrow, thus somehow affecting the results of the test.

What is A Doppler Ultrasound: What are the Procedures During one?

If you are worried about any method that might hurt or that you should be prepared for during a Doppler ultrasound, there is no need for you to worry, as the process is a non-invasive and painless procedure. And although the Doppler ultrasound may use radiation, there is no harmful radiation involved or passed on to the patients.

Generally, here are the steps that go on during a Doppler ultrasound procedure:

  1. Clothing, jewelry and any object that might obstruct the area being studied should be removed. Hearing aids, dentures, glasses, and contacts are exempt from this rule. If you are worried about going naked, you will be provided with a hospital gown by the people examining you.
  2. You will initially be instructed to lie down on a table or bed.
  3. The doctor or operator will then proceed to place a gel on a handheld device named a transducer. This device directs high-frequency sound waves into the area it is pointed at.
  4. To properly examine your blood vessels, the physician or person in charge of the process may place blood pressure cuffs in spots near the area being examined. Some of the spots these will likely be placed are (in the case of your legs) in your ankles, calves, and thighs. This can help compare the difference in blood pressure in various parts of your body.
  5. Images are then shown on a monitor or computer near you as the transducer is pressed against your skin and moved around the area affected. The computer or monitor will proceed to make graphs and pictures that adequately show blood flow through your arteries and veins.

What is A Doppler Ultrasound: The Results after the procedure

The physician in charge will then proceed to interpret the test results, which will be in the form of graphs and pictures. A normal test result will likely indicate that you have no problems whatsoever with the flow of your blood, no narrowing happening or blockages present. This will also likely mean that the blood pressure in your arteries is at a normal level. Abnormal blood flow patterns, however, may indicate a host of conditions. Including:

  • Blockage
  • Blood clots
  • Closing of a vein
  • Abnormal contraction of arteries
  • And poor circulation.
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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers