Deep Vein Thrombosis and Exercise


A Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein deep inside of one's body. Blood clots can form when blood thickens and clumps together. It is possible for the blood clot to break off and travel through the blood stream. Sometimes, a clot can travel to the lungs and restrict blood flow. This is known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). Blood clots that form in the calves or pelvis are more likely to break off and cause a PE than clots in other areas. Upper extremity DVT can appear in the neck or arms and travel to the lungs. This type of DVT can also lead to a PE.

Resuming a regular exercise program after having a PE or DVT is important, not only for one's overall cardiovascular health but also to help prevent another PE or DVT. Following a DVT, the legs may be swollen, tender, red, or hot to touch. These symptoms should improve over time, and exercise often helps. It is recommended to avoid overexertion though. Walking is a good routine to start with although strength training is also an important part of maintaining the overall health.


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