Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is caused by a blood clot (thrombus) that forms in one or more of the deep veins, usually in your legs. DVT causes leg pain, swelling, but it can also occur without manifesting any symptoms. Because it can partially or even completely block blood flow to the heart, it can be very life-threatening. It can damage the one-way valves in your veins and even travel to major organs and cause organ failure, pulmonary embolism, and in worst cases, death.

Statistics say that 1 in 10 people die from deep vein thrombosis complications. The risk of DVT is increased in inactive people who have a sedentary lifestyle. The blood clots are usually caused by anything that prevents blood from normally circulating or clotting, such as certain types of injuries, medication, smoking, excess weight, surgery, and lack of movement.

 

Symptoms

 

DVT can occur with no noticeable symptoms, but there are a few warning signs you can notice with the naked eye. If you have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately!

  • Swelling in the affected leg
  • Leg pain, cramping, or soreness that starts in your calf
  • Red or discolored skin on the distressed area
  • Warmth in the damaged spot

 

Prevention


    An active lifestyle is all you need in order to prevent blood clots from forming deep in your veins. Stay hydrated and take walking breaks during your trips or other sedentary activities you might have, such as binge-watching TV. Walk every single day as much as you can in order to reduce the risk of DVT. Don't smoke, maintain a healthy weight, and talk to your doctor, making sure that the medication (including birth control pills) you might be on, doesn't increase the risk of DVT.

    • Walk regularly, swim, or cycle
    • Stretch your legs, flex your feet, curl or press your toes down
    • Quit smoking
    • Check with your doctor to see if medication increases the risk of DVT
    • Replace short, tight socks with compression socks or stockings
    • Exercise and maintain a healthy weight

     

    Exercising


      People who were diagnosed with sever DVT should take it easy and only do light physical activities, like walking, doing household work, etc. Follow doctor's order and only do what they allow you to do. A blood clot is of great stress to your body and it needs time to heal and recover, so take time off from work, only move as much as you need to, and be patient.

      However, people who want to prevent DVT, have a mild form of DVT, or those who’ve just experienced DVT should exercise regularly. Being active will definitely not make things worse, but only improve them. Each individual needs a personal exercise plan, but it is best to start with some strength training.

      For example, for a leg with DVT, arm and trunk exercises are recommended, while for an arm with DVT doctors recommend trunk and leg exercises. Wear compression socks at all times, in order to benefit from compression therapy, recovery functions and protection. And if you want to do some weightlifting, go easy and don’t lift anything that feels too heavy to you.

      Lifting weights could actually help produce "valsalva maneuver", which reverses venous blood flow from your lower extremities towards your feet. So, you can do some lifting, including compound movements such as deadlifts, bench presses, front squats, etc. However, don’t start lifting without properly warming-up first! You can perform the exercises below as your warm-up before lifting, and even do them on a daily basis in order to maintain proper flow and movement in your legs.


      Dynamic Hamstring Stretch

      • Lie on your back and extend one leg until straight.
      • Bend the other leg until your knee is at a 90 degrees angle. Brace your leg if necessary.
      • Extend your leg straight into the air as much as you can and pause at the top.
      • Return, switch sides, and repeat!

      Alternating Leg Switch

      • Stand upright keeping a neutral spine.
      • Take a few steps forward and kick one leg in front of you, as high as you can, until completely extended.
      • Simultaneously extend the opposite arm and touch your foot while moving forward.
      • Return, switch sides, and repeat!

      Chair Leg Extended Stretch

      • Sit upright in a chair and grip the sides of the seat with your hands.
      • Raise one leg until the knee is fully extended while flexing your ankle.
      • Move the leg outwards with a slow and controlled movement.
      • Return, switch sides, and repeat!

      Crossover Reverse Lunge

      • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
      • Step back with one foot and flex your hips and front knee.
      • Rotate your torso across the front leg and briefly hold.
      • Return, switch sides, and repeat!

      Scissor Kick

      • Lie down with your back on a flat surface. Fully extend your arms to the sides with palms facing down. Keep your arms stationary at all times!
      • Slightly bend your knees and lift your legs until your heels are about 6 inches above ground.
      • Lift your left leg to a 45 degrees angle and lower your right leg until your heel is about 2 inches above the ground.
      • Switch movements by lowering your left leg and raising your right leg.
      • Repeat!

      Remember to breathe as you exercise and make sure that you are hydrated. Don’t forget to wear compression socks or stockings as you perform these exercises, even during your lifting or cardio session. They are recommended for running, weightlifting, travel flights, hiking, recovery, and so many other active and sedentary activities as well.  

      Compression socks not only protect you against DVT on a daily basis, but enhance your lifting and cardio performances by distributing consistent pressure over the calves. They improve blood flow and promote adequate circulation by elevating oxygen levels. By removing lactic acid and flushing toxins, they speed up the recovery process.  In addition, they also ensure a pain-free workout and pain relief post-workout by reducing fatigue, cramping and soreness.

      Follow these steps and perform these light exercises everyday in order to prevent DVT from occurring. Don’t smoke, exercise regularly, stay hydrated, maintain a healthy weight, and lose the short and tight socks in the favor of compression socks, which are especially designed to aid your active lifestyle and prevent DVT.

      Stay active and be healthy, because health is happiness!

       

       

      Medical Disclaimer

      Check with your doctor or physician first! The information contained in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. All of our content, including images, graphics, text available in this article is for general information purposes only. Mava Sports makes no representations and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information available in this article, and such information is subject to change without notice. We encourage you to verify and confirm any information you obtained from this article with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your doctor and physician. Do not disregard any professional medical advice because of something you have read in or accessed through this article.





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