DVT Prevention Exercises

DVT Prevention Exercises

While we may not always have control over our bodies, we do have the potential to keep them as healthy as possible. To do so we have to remember one vital component to this theme: Use it or lose it.

That phrase applies to many body organs, especially our brain, cardiovascular, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems. When it comes to deep vein thrombosis (deep vein blood clot or DVT) prevention, your vascular health can come down to one thing: movement.

DVTs in the lower extremities are primarily caused by a lack of movement or exercise. It doesn’t matter whether you sit at a desk all day, are recovering from a surgical procedure, an illness, or you’ve taken a long road trip or flight. Keeping the blood pumping through your body prevents pooling. Pooling occurs when gravity plus inactivity makes it difficult for the blood vessels to pump blood back up to the heart and lungs.

The movement of blood through the veins involves the circulatory system and smooth muscle, which composes the majority of blood vessel walls. The arterial smooth muscle relaxes in between heartbeats to allow blood into an area, while venous smooth muscle pumps blood back to the heart.

Movement is key to preventing blood from pooling and keeping circulation going, both beneficial in preventing the potential of a DVT.

Exercise to reduce the risk of DVT

A few simple exercises performed several times throughout the day can help reduce the risk of developing blood clots in the lower extremities.

  1. Walking not only aids circulation but also helps reduce stress, and blood pressure. Even a short walk across a room is beneficial. Try to avoid sitting for more than four hours at a time. Get up and stretch and walk – get those calf muscles moving!
  2. Even if you have to sit in a chair or car for long periods, you can rotate your ankles (counter and then counter-clockwise), or point or flex your toes, or do a dozen or so foot pumps by placing your toes on the floor and lifting the heel as high as you can. Hold contractions for a count of then and then relax. Repeat at least ten times.
  3. If you have the leg room and you’re seated, extend your leg out in front of you, then bring it toward your chest, then lower the leg. Move slowly but with purpose and then repeat with the other leg.
  4. At your desk, sit back in your chair and pretend you’re marching in place, grasping the bottom of the chair for support if needed.

The key is to move. Make-up foot games that contract and flex muscles in the feet, ankles, and calves. These days, many of us are sedentary because we have to be. Still, do what you can as often as you can to keep your blood from pooling in the lower extremities and you’ll also be doing your part to reduce your risk for a DVT.

Related Posts

dog bite blood clots
Education

Blood Clot Formation: A Hidden Danger of Dog Bites

Dog bites, while often considered in terms of immediate physical trauma and infection risk, carry another, less commonly discussed danger: the potential to cause blood clot formation. This post explores the complex relationship between dog bites and blood clots, aiming to raise awareness and understanding of this serious health risk. Understanding How a Dog Bite

Read More »
falling down blood clots
Education

The Link Between Falls and Blood Clots

When we think of the aftermath of a fall, bruises and perhaps a broken bone come to mind. However, there’s another less obvious but potentially dangerous consequence: blood clots. While a fall might seem like an isolated incident, its implications can extend far beyond immediate injuries, potentially leading to the development of blood clots. Understanding

Read More »
hysterectomy blood clots
Education

Understanding Blood Clot Risks After a Hysterectomy

Understanding Blood Clot Risks After a Hysterectomy A hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, can be a life-changing procedure for many women, offering relief from various medical conditions such as chronic pain, heavy bleeding, or cancer. However, like any major surgery, it comes with its set of post-operative risks, including the development of blood

Read More »
c section blood clot risks
Education

Managing Blood Clot Concerns After Your C Section

**Managing Blood Clot Concerns After Your C Section** Bringing a new life into the world is a momentous event, and for many, a C-section is a vital part of the journey. While it’s a common and generally safe procedure, like any surgery, it comes with its set of complications and risks, including the potential for

Read More »
car accident crash
Education

The Risk of Blood Clots After a Car Accident

Car accidents are traumatic events that can have lasting physical effects, some of which may not be immediately apparent. Among these potential post-accident complications, the risk of developing blood clots is significant yet often overlooked. Blood clots can pose serious health risks, including the potential for life-threatening conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and

Read More »
muscle cramp or blood clot
Education

Is It a Blood Clot or Just a Muscle Cramp? Know the Difference

Experiencing leg pain or discomfort can be concerning, especially when trying to determine if it’s a blood clot or just a muscle cramp. Both conditions share similarities in their manifestation but have distinctly different causes and risks associated with them. Understanding these differences is crucial for addressing the issue appropriately and ensuring your health and

Read More »
Scroll to Top