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Blood clots in legs: Dangers and DVT Signs

Does operating trigger blood clots? Weighing the advantages and dangers of train is usually a complicated enterprise. You’ll have heard tales of robust, wholesome runners dropping useless of a coronary heart assault or struggling a pulmonary embolism with none warning. Is that this one thing you’ll want to fear about? 

A part of the issue is the false assumption that the inhabitants at best threat for blood clots is over 60, overweight, and/or people who smoke. The truth is, endurance athletes of all ages in addition to athletes taking part in touch sports activities like hockey or soccer are additionally a major threat group. 

Don’t let concern get in your manner of higher well being. Constructing consciousness of blood clots within the normal inhabitants and much more so amongst athletes is the important thing to prevention. Know your threat of growing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), tips on how to stop clots from forming, and spot signs early to begin remedy. 

woman running in the city

What’s the distinction between VTE, DVT, and PE?

Blood clotting is a vital course of by which your blood coagulates, forming a plug to cease bleeding after a reduce or harm. Issues happen when a venous thromboembolism (VTE) – the medical time period for a blood clot –  varieties inside your veins for different causes. This will occur after lengthy intervals of sitting, like on a protracted flight, or on account of harm. These clots can then dislodge and transfer to different areas of your physique, obstructing blood move to vital organs. 

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a sort of blood clot that varieties in a deeper vein – often within the decrease leg, thigh, or pelvis. DVT often is brought on by trauma or an infection after an harm or injury to a vein from surgical procedure. 

A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot that both strikes to your lungs from some other place in your physique or varieties instantly in your lungs. This will trigger a scarcity of blood move that damages lung tissue or lead to low blood oxygen ranges which harms different organs. Relying on the dimensions and variety of clots, a pulmonary embolism can shortly change into very harmful and even life-threatening. 

Who’s at highest threat of growing a venous thromboembolism?

Anybody can develop a blood clot, however sure circumstances, behaviors, and genetic predisposition can put you at an elevated threat. About 900,000 People are affected by blood clots every year, lots of these resulting in demise.(1)

Along with age, weight problems, and smoking, the very best threat elements embrace surgical procedure which can trigger injury to a vein, being pregnant, harm leading to trauma to blood vessels and immobilization, in addition to a household historical past of blood clots. The extra threat elements you’ve, the upper your likelihood of growing a clot. 

Does operating trigger blood clots?

There isn’t a query that common train all through life improves your well being. Nonetheless, the extraordinary and prolonged coaching that marathon runners require places better stress on the system. This thereby will increase the chance of growing blood clots within the legs.

In 1884, German doctor Rudolf Virchow outlined three most important classes of things that contribute to blood clots. In the present day it is named Virchow’s Triad. These elements are grouped right into a.) the effectivity of blood move (circulatory stasis), b.) the integrity of blood vessels (vascular injury), and c.) composition of blood itself (hypercoagulability).(2)

blood clotting infographic

Inside these three classes there are particular elements that put long-distance runners at a better threat. These elements embrace however will not be restricted to dehydration, irritation, use of estrogen contraceptives throughout coaching or races, and prolonged sitting throughout lengthy flights when touring to races. 

What are the indicators and signs?

The most typical signal of a blood clot within the leg (or arm) is ache that most individuals describe as a cramp. This can be accompanied by swelling or heat within the affected space. The pores and skin is also discolored, showing reddish or bluish. 

Pulmonary embolism signs embrace shortness of breath, sharp, stabbing chest ache, and feeling faint. You may additionally expertise low blood strain, a cough, or fever. 

Pay attention to these signs and don’t ignore them. Though blood clots typically dissolve on their very own, examine along with your physician to see whether or not you’ll want to begin a remedy plan, corresponding to anticoagulant treatment.

Treating Blood Clots

See your physician. It’s vital that you just assess the chance the clot poses to your well being. If the clot is harmful, you might be prescribed anticoagulants or thrombolytics to dissolve the clot. It’s also possible to put on compression stockings, elevate the realm, and maintain transferring. Make sure that to drink loads of water, as dehydration causes your blood to thicken and will increase the chance of clots. 

woman rehydrating

stop blood clots

Whereas we’ve established that operating doesn’t trigger blood clots, the circumstances by which endurance athletes regularly discover themselves do put long-distance runners at a better threat. 

There are some things you are able to do to stop the formation of blood clots, it doesn’t matter what your present dangers are. 

5 Prevention Ideas

  1. Stand up and transfer round frequently. Whether or not at work, on a airplane, or after recovering from an harm or operation, be sure to maneuver your physique as a lot as doable. If you happen to can’t stand up and stroll, flex your heels and calf muscle mass each 20 minutes. While you’re at work, see if you happen to can squeeze in a 5 minute exercise each hour. Micro exercises additionally do wonders for your psychological well being.
  2. Stretch frequently all through the day.
  3. Keep hydrated. This ought to be a precedence on a regular basis, however pay specific consideration to your water consumption when coaching for a race, touring, and put up exercise
  4. Keep a wholesome weight.
  5. Give up smoking.


An oz of prevention is value a pound of remedy. Battle clots earlier than they change into an issue by being conscious of signs. Does operating trigger blood clots? No. However in case you are coaching for marathons or different long-distance competitions, listening to warning indicators in addition to your individual genetic predisposition to any sort of venous thromboembolism might save your life. Blood clots can occur to anybody. Be sensible, and see your physician if you happen to discover suspicious cramp-like ache, discoloration, or dizziness. 

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