Can I Exercise After a Massive DVT
I've already explained the symptoms of a DVT, and given some hints about what you can do for yourself after a DVT. Many people have similar concerns after Deep Vein Thrombosis hits them. A basic question that many doctors often don't answer is can I exercise after a DVT?
Now, a Deep Vein Thrombosis is caused by a blood clot forming in the leg, and blocking veins, making the leg less effective at moving blood around the body than normal.
and so causing it to swell up like this (in the worst case):
The major complication of a DVT is pulmonary embolus, where a clot detaches from the leg, and ends up making its way to the lung. This can cause a range of symptoms, including pain, lack of breath, coughing up blood, or even death.
So, people who have DVT's are often very concerned.
The wonder will exercise detach my clot?
As a rule there are three phases in a DVT:
Phase 1- Where the blood clot may not be completely attached to the vein, lasting up to 48 hours from the DVT. During this phase, there is still a significant risk of blood clots detaching and ending up in the lung. I would not recommend rigorous exercise, but gentle short walks without getting out of breath are still OK.
Phase 2- Where the blood clot is almost certainly attached to the vein, but the link is still not completely strong. This phase lasts for anywhere up to 2 weeks. It is important to realise that every hour during this phase, the attachment becomes stronger and the risks reduce. You are increasingly moving out of the 'danger zone'. During this phase, I think a regular regime of walking is best.
It is important to build up strength in your leg, and to get your body moving so it doesn't form any new clots.
In particular if you are overweight, losing that weight has to be a priority.
Consequently, I recommend building up slowly during this phrase, but getting to the point you can walk several miles a day.
Of course, these recommendations depend on how painful it is; you should not exercise too much if in a great deal of pain, and should contact your doctor.
Phase 3 â After a round 2 weeks, the clot should be quite firmly established, and in fact your body will start to absorb the clot, and make new veins. During this phase, you can slowly increase the intensity of exercise towards whatever is normal, taking basic steps.
HOWEVER, you should avoid contact sports and so on while you are on anti-clotting drugs.
Again, these are basic guidelines, and you should ideally ask your doctor for more advice.