Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

21. June 2022

physiotherapist advice about deep vein thrombosis (dvt) treatment

Hearing the words deep vein thrombosis puts fear into many people and is greatly misunderstood by the public.

Usually associated with flying long haul, this isn’t the only cause for concern when it comes to deep vein thrombosis.

Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot within your veins. This clot can reduce the flow of blood or even travel to various parts of your body, sometimes with devastating effects.

Although it can be quite scary, there are ways in which to prevent it. Plus, available medical care such as DVT physiotherapy treatment if you happen to get it.

So that you’re up to speed on the condition, CK Physio will be discussing the following:

  • What is deep vein thrombosis and what causes it
  • Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis and when to take action
  • Preventative measures and physiotherapy exercises
  • How DVT physiotherapy treatment works
  • Where to get help if you need DVT physiotherapy treatment

What is deep vein thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition where blood clots form in the deep veins of your body.

Deep vein thrombosis can occur anywhere in your body and is usually categorised by the affected area.

The most common cause of DVT is damage to the vein or anything that prevents your blood from flowing or clotting properly.

Causes of deep vein thrombosis :

Source: 7 Health Conditions That Cause DVT - DVT Center -

Other risk factors affecting deep vein thrombosis :

  • Age (DVT can occur at any age but over 60 are at higher risk)
  • Family history
  • Hormone medication (contraceptive pill or HRT)
  • Injury or surgery
  • Smoking
  • Cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Overweight

Source: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - Illnesses & conditions | NHS inform , Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

Deep vein thrombosis can be serious if it goes untreated or if it travels to your major organs.

Types of deep vein thrombosis :

  • Pulmonary embolism (PE) - a clot travels through your bloodstream to your lungs
  • Femoral vein thrombosis - a clot in the long vein in your thigh, yet you may not experience symptoms
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack) - a clot formed on the sticky plaque within your arteries
  • Superior Vena Cava Thrombosis - clot caused by a central line or catheter in your vein

Listed above are only a few of the 15 types of deep vein thrombosis . Now, we’ll explore the symptoms to look out for.

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is a serious medical condition that can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Of course, prevention is better than cure. Yet, it’s equally important to know the symptoms of the condition so you can act if you feel you may be experiencing DVT.

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis :

(These symptoms can occur on the legs, arms, and abdomen)

  • Swollen veins
  • Painful or tender area
  • Swelling
  • Extreme pain in the calf when walking
  • Redness of the skin
  • Chest pain or tightness(made worse when breathing or coughing)
  • Dizziness or lightheaded
  • Rapid breathing or pulse
  • Coughing up blood

Deep vein thrombosis can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms are often similar to other conditions or may not present at all.

Yet, if you have any of these symptoms it is important you get medical assistance immediately.

If not treated promptly, deep vein thrombosis can cause long-term complications.

Preventative measures and physiotherapy exercises

As we mentioned previously prevention is better than cure!

But what can we do to ensure that we’re at our very best?

Here are some preventative measures for deep vein thrombosis :

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Exercise regularly and move often
  • Avoid alcohol or smoking
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Use support stockings (if instructed)
  • Lose weight if you are overweight

Physiotherapy exercises are another way to prevent DVT.

These exercises are best done with an experienced, qualified physiotherapist who can provide guidance and support throughout.

At CK Physio a tailored program is designed to incorporate physiotherapy exercises that will:

  • increase blood circulation
  • reduce swelling
  • improve mobility
  • prevent further injury

These physiotherapy exercises can be performed after any qualifying injury, plus, pre or post-surgery for greater recovery and significantly reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis .

If instructed by a medical practitioner, DVT can be prevented or treated by wearing compression stockings and taking prescribed medications.

How DVT physiotherapy treatment works

Deep vein thrombosis can be caused by various factors, such as prolonged sitting or standing, air travel, or surgery.

DVT physiotherapy treatment is designed to improve the circulation of blood and other fluids through the body.

The treatment is also used to lessen pain, reduce swelling, and prevent further clotting.

The most common DVT physiotherapy treatments include:

  • Early mobilisation: range of motion exercises (ROM)
  • Physiotherapy exercises: gentle exercises, and walking
  • Use of graduated compression stockings
  • Manual therapy: massage and manipulation
  • Education on deep vein thrombosis prevention

DVT physiotherapy treatment may be used in collaboration with your medical team, to ensure you're getting the correct treatment and receiving the right level of medication.

Where to get help if you need DVT physiotherapy treatment

DVT physiotherapy treatment has been shown to be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of deep vein thrombosis .

Evidence suggests that physiotherapy exercises can reduce pain and improve mobility by strengthening muscles and improving coordination.

At CK Physio we’re here to help you on the road to DVT prevention or recovery.

Book an online consultation to discuss at length your situation with a certified physiotherapist.

However, if you or your loved ones are experiencing any of the deep vein thrombosis symptoms mentioned in this article. Please get medical assistance immediately.

Don’t leave it to chance, act now!

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