If you have been diagnosed with claudication (a condition that is usually induced by atherosclerosis, which results in a person experiencing pain when they exercise due to the poor circulation of blood in their lower limbs) and need to get a vascular ultrasound so that your doctor can assess the affected blood vessels, here are two mistakes that you should try hard not to make.
Postponing your vascular ultrasound appointment because you fear it will hurt or be invasive
If you are unfamiliar with ultrasounds, you might feel a bit wary about getting this procedure done, because you fear it will hurt or be invasive. This is a mistake for the following reasons; firstly, although there are some types of ultrasounds that are somewhat invasive, as they involve using internal ultrasound probes (an endoscopic ultrasound would be one example of this), a vascular ultrasound is an external procedure that is non-invasive and should not cause the patient any pain whatsoever.
Secondly, if you usually enjoy exercise, but you've stopped or cut back on the number of exercise-related activities you do because of the pain that the claudication causes when you move around, then putting off this procedure might result in you missing out on several extra weeks or months of doing your favourite types of exercise. The reason for this is that without the information provided by this ultrasound, your doctor might not feel comfortable referring you for procedures that might alleviate this health issue (such as an angioplasty, which can reopen blocked-up blood vessels).
Doing lower body exercises just before you have the ultrasound
Some people with claudication will continue exercising in spite of the pain that it causes them. If you're one of these people, it would be a big mistake to do any exercise that involves your lower body just before you go for the ultrasound. The reason for this is that if the pain and cramping that arises during, for example, the jog you take before the appointment is still present whilst the ultrasound is being carried out, you might struggle to keep your legs still enough for the technician to run the ultrasound probe over them and look at the blood vessels in these limbs. Furthermore, the images generated during this appointment might not be clear enough for your doctor to fully assess the condition of your blood vessels. If this happens, you might have to get this ultrasound done a second time.
To learn more about vascular ultrasounds, contact a doctor in your area.