What Active People and Athletes Should Know About Blood Clots

A blood clot is a clump of blood that has turned into a solid state. When a blood clot forms in a vein located deep inside the body, it is known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT. These kinds of clots typically form in the leg, but can also develop in other areas of the body.

Although blood clots most often originate in the legs, they can travel up through the heart and create a blockage in the pulmonary artery that supplies blood to the lungs. This is known as a pulmonary embolism or PE, which is a serious and sometimes fatal complication when left untreated.

Some people may think blood clots occur only in the elderly, but being young, seemingly healthy, and an athlete does not prevent a person from developing blood clots. In fact, because of these appearances, the symptoms of a blood clot may be misinterpreted as something less serious, such as the leg pain from a muscle tear, cramp, twisted ankle, or shin splint.

The symptoms of a blood clot may include swelling, cramp-like pain, tenderness, skin discoloration, and warmth to the touch, typically in the leg. The symptoms of pulmonary embolism may include sudden shortness of breath, sharp chest pain that may feel worse with deep breath, rapid heart rate, a cough (sometimes with bloody mucus), fainting or passing out.

Certain factors put both athletes, as well as non-athletes at increased risk, such as the presence of varicose veins. In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that people with varicose veins are five times more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis.

Additionally, dehydration, trauma to a blood vessel wall (for example after a bone fracture, surgery, or immobilization), or impaired circulation caused by sitting in a cramped position for a prolonged period of time (like during travel) provide further risks. Furthermore, it has been estimated that about 85 percent of those who experience DVT problems from air travel are athletes and over 80 percent are under the age of 60.

Other risks may include certain medications such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, genetic or acquired clotting disorders, congenital vein abnormality, family history of clotting, among others.

Therefore, it is important for everyone, especially for athletes to take breaks and stretch their legs when traveling, stay well hydrated, be aware of risks and symptoms, and seek medical attention if they occur. Coaches and trainers should also be aware of these risk factors and symptoms.

For those who have varicose veins, treating varicose veins and their complications such as varicose veins bleeding or leg ulcers may be vital. Laser surgery for varicose veins provides a highly-effective non-surgical treatment option and most people can resume their daily activities immediately after treatment. Additionally, most major health insurance carriers provide coverage for treatment when medically necessary.

If you would like more information regarding blood clots, DVT, PE or laser surgery for varicose veins, please contact the Goldman Vein Institute today at one of our two convenient locations:

Jupiter 561-625-9853 or Wellington 561-790-4550 or visit us at www.goldmanveininstitute.com.

At the Goldman Vein Institute, our mission is to provide our patients with comprehensive care for varicose veins, spider veins, and other conditions caused by venous insufficiency. Our highly-qualified and experienced, board-certified vein specialists, Dr. Goldman and Dr. Varghese-Goldman, combine their extensive knowledge and experience, with the latest innovations in vein treatments.

With our offices in Jupiter and Wellington Florida, the Goldman Vein Institute serves patients from Stuart, Hobe Sound, Tequesta, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Hialeah, Sunny Isles, Bay Harbor, Bal Harbour, Miami Beach, Aventura, Surfside, Hallandale, and Hollywood, and we welcome patients across South Florida to visit our state-of-the-art vein centers, where we provide the latest in vein treatment technology.

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