Ok it’s a bit early to be thinking about travelling home for Christmas just yet, however, DVT can strike at any time of the year and it is worth knowing what signs to look out for and how to avoid them.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a deep vein and it most commonly occurs in the calf muscles. If a part of the clot breaks away and moves around the body it can block blood vessels and could cause heart attack or brain injury.
A journey over four hours by plane, train or car can increase the risk of DVT. However, the odds of suffering DVT are only 1 in 6000. Restricted movement on long journeys causes the blood to thicken, alongside factors such as dehydration, pregnancy or a family history of blood clots which can all contribute to the chances of DVT.
There are things we can do to avoid DVT, here we have a list of do’s and don’ts:
- If you have a calf that’s tight or you have had an ankle injury the risk of DVT is increased, see a physiotherapist and get it treated. We find that one session is often all that is needed.
- Drink plenty of water as dehydration can increase your chance of getting a DVT.
- Keep moving, stand up and move around as well as sitting and rotating feet.
- Consider wearing flight socks, they work by minimising blood pooling in your veins to prevent DVT
- Avoid tight clothing
- Do not sit with your legs crossed; this will cause the blood to pool
- Do not over indulge in alcohol as this causes dehydration.
How do I know if I have a DVT? Sometimes there are no symptoms at all but your limb may be red hot, swollen or painful. If you think you may have a DVT you should see a doctor straight away.