March was national Deep Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month. The public initiative is aimed at increasing understanding of this common medical condition and its complications. Deep Vein Thromboses (DVT), also known as a blood clot, affects up to 900,000 people in the United States annually, according to the CDC.
Deep Vein Thrombosis usually occurs in the legs but can also be present in other extremities, and can be very serious. Blood clots in the veins can break loose, travel through the bloodstream and lodge in the lungs – blocking blood flow. This, often life-threatening condition, is known as a pulmonary embolism.
DVT can be caused by a recent surgery or injury, medical condition, or could be an inherited condition.
Medical conditions that can increase your risk of developing a blood clot are:
- Increased age
- Chronic venous insufficiency
Physical therapy is a method used to manage or decrease the risk of occurrence of DVT by improving the circulation deep in your veins. At Avila Physical Therapy, we work with patients to improve circulation by teaching them how to perform exercises that improve range of motion. We also recommend and provide compression garments that encourage circulation.
Medical-grade compression stockings provide graduated pressure that is firmer at the bottom of the leg and becomes less at the top of the garment. Because gravity makes it difficult for blood to flow in an upward direction, the graduation of pressure provided by the compression garments aid in improving blood flow back to the heart.
If you are pregnant, have a family history of DVT or blood clots, or had a DVT due to a medical condition, the therapists at Avila Physical Therapy in Greenville, NC can help you. Please contact our office to schedule an evaluation today!