Deep Vain Thrombosis or DVT-an update from Jodi Dribbin

Due to COVID-19, we are all sitting more and moving less, with decreased incidental exercise. This may increase your risk of developing a Deep Vein Thrombosis.

Do you know what a Deep Vein Thrombosis is?

Also known as a DVT, it is a blood clot that has developed in the deep veins. Most commonly found in the calf, but can also occur in the arm.

Signs include:
– Swelling
– Pain or tenderness not caused by a specific injury (most commonly felt in the calf)
– Heat, redness
– Discolouration of the skin.
**If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to alert your doctor ASAP.

It is also important to note that if you have any signs including chest pain, shortness of breath, increased heart-rate or coughing up blood, then you MUST alert your doctor ASAP as these could be signs of a blood clot that has travelled to the lung (AKA pulmonary embolism).

Blood clots are treated with anticoagulant medication (AKA blood thinners), and they slow the body’s ability to develop new clots and stop the existing clot from growing.

A clot either arises spontaneously or is caused by conditions including surgery, trauma, or prolonged bed rest.

Women tend to have a lower risk than men, but pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives (the pill) or hormone replacement therapy may represent important risk factors.

Other risk factors include:
– Family history of blood clots
– High BMI (overweight)
– Sitting too long/ confinement to bed or wheelchair
– Smoking
– Long term chronic lung or heart conditions
– Diabetes

Understanding your risk, and the decisions to help mitigate the occurrence of blood clots can help protect you from the potentially fatal consequences!

Therefore, make sure you get up regularly from your desk, go for a daily walk and try squeeze in some resistance or cardiovascular training! As always, don’t hesitate to come in and see one of our physio’s for any advice or recommendations.

References:
– Kyrle, P. A., & Eichinger, S. (2005). Deep vein thrombosis. The Lancet, 365(9465), 1163-1174.
– Stoptheclot.org

Jodi Dribbin

Physiotherpaist
B Physio, Post Grad Cert Pelvic Floor and Continence Physiotherapy (The University of Melbourne)
MAPA