Learning you have a blood clot is scary. The most common manifestation is deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and can be life threatening. A DVT may form without a known reason, but the risk is higher if part of your body has been immobilized for an extended period, which is why it’s so important for anyone impacted by circulatory conditions to keep moving!
The good news for anyone diagnosed with DVT is that compression therapy can help. Let’s take a closer look at what DVT is and the benefits of compression therapy to help manage DVT its symptoms.
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?
Let’s start with the basics. DVT is the medical term for a blood clot, or thrombus, in a deep vein—most commonly the leg. If the clot is large enough, it can restrict or obstruct blood flow, causing pain and other complications. A DVT can be especially dangerous if the clot breaks loose from the vein wall. If it travels to lungs, the clot can become a pulmonary embolism (PE) and block one of the arteries. A pulmonary embolism can seriously damage the lungs and can become fatal.
DVT and pulmonary embolism are often undiagnosed and misunderstood, which led acting U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Steven Galson to launch a Call to Action campaign in 2008. The campaign was a result of years working on and documenting DVT/PE, its causes and treatments. The goal of the campaign—similar to previous ones for obesity and secondhand smoke—has been to increase awareness of DVT/PE, suggest avenues of treatment and rally for more research into the causes and prevention. The motivational intent is to help prevent unnecessary deaths from the condition.
Signs and Symptoms of DVT
It is very important to receive proper medical diagnosis and treatment of DVT to minimize the risk of developing blockages and a potential pulmonary embolism. A DVT can occur anywhere in your body—commonly during long flights or if you’re on bed rest. Your body will naturally react to any blocked or slowed blood flow, and knowing the signs could save your life. Here are some common symptoms of DVT:
- Swelling (also called edema) in one of your legs
- Inexplicable pain in one of your legs—often, it starts in your calf (it may feel like cramping or soreness)
- Unusual skin temperature (either too hot or too cold to the touch)
- Extreme pink or red skin coloring
Post Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS)
Post Thrombotic Syndrome is a common complication after a DVT. PTS describes a grouping of symptoms that can occur after the blood clot damages your veins, including:
- Leg swelling
- Leg pain
- Skin discoloration
- Venous ulcerations (wounds that happen when your veins aren’t working properly)
Sometimes, PTS symptoms don’t appear until a few years after a DVT occurs.
Using Compression Therapy
It is possible for a DVT to form without any obvious signs, so it’s important to maintain an active lifestyle and be diligent about wearing your compression garments. Juzo’s graduated compression stockings and socks help manage swelling caused by DVT. Graduated compression works by putting the highest amount of compression at your ankle, decreasing in compression strength as it moves up to your knee. Graduated compression will help to increase your circulation and minimize additional clotting.
The 2016 Chest Guidelines—evidence-based practiced guidelines published by The American College of Chest Physicians—recommend compression stockings for reducing the leg pain, swelling and heaviness that PTS can cause. It’s a good idea to wear these stockings after a DVT to help your leg feel better so that you can be more active to get back to work and enjoy a better quality of life.
Long periods of immobility can be very strenuous on your legs. If you’re traveling, hospitalized or recovering from an injury, wearing graduated compression stockings is an effective way to keep your legs healthy.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with DVT or are at risk and want to reduce your chance from getting one, Juzo is here to help you get and stay active with our compression garment products. Find out more about the benefits of compression therapy, or find a Juzo dealer near you.