Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling but also can occur with no symptoms.
You can get DVT if you have certain medical conditions that affect how your blood clots. A blood clot in your legs can also happen if you don't move for a long time, such as after you have surgery or an accident, when you're traveling a long distance, sitting for extended periods of time or when you're on bed rest.
According to the American College of Cardiology, if you are sitting for more than 4 hours a day, you are increasing your chance of fatal blood clots (originating in your veins) by 48%.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 900,000 Americans could be affected by venous thromboembolisms (blood clots that break off and block air to your lungs) every year. Compare that to epidemics like all forms of cancer, which kill about 570,000 Americans annually.
Avoid sitting still. If you have had surgery or have been on bed rest for other reasons, try to get moving as soon as possible. If you're sitting for a while, don't cross your legs, which can block blood flow. If you're traveling a long distance by car, stop every hour or so and walk around.
If you're on a plane, stand or walk occasionally. If you can't do that, exercise your lower legs. Try raising and lowering your heels while keeping your toes on the floor, then raising your toes with your heels on the floor.
Don't smoke. Smoking increases your risk of getting DVT.
Exercise and manage your weight. Obesity is a risk factor for DVT. Regular exercise lowers your risk of blood clots, which is especially important for people who sit a lot or travel frequently.
Call us for more information or if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
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