The ability of the blood to clot to close and heal a wound is something most of us take for granted. However, when this system is not working properly, serious health problems can occur. Fortunately, it is treatable and preventable in most cases. There is good news for those with an active lifestyle. Researchers from Leiden University in the Netherlands evaluated almost 8,000 people ages 18 to 70 and found that regular participation in sports and exercise significantly reduces the risk of blood clots. Some specific findings that are noteworthy are; women received more benefit than men, obese people (body mass index or 30 or more) were four-times more at risk, even those only participating in sport or exercise once a week reduced their risks. So, this is another reason to KEEP ON MOVING!
If a blood clot from a vein travels to your lungs, a life-threatening pulmonary embolism can develop. It can be fatal even with prompt medical intervention. Because blood clots can develop without any sign, if any of the following signs of a pulmonary embolism develops, seek medical attention.
Another possible complication after a blood clot in a vein is a condition known as post-phlebitic or post-thrombotic syndrome, caused by damage to your veins from the blood clot and reduces blood flow in the affected areas. The symptoms may not occur until a few years after the clot resolves and include:
A blood clot that blocks an artery can result in various conditions. If the clot occludes one of the coronary arteries that supply your heart, you can experience a heart attack. A stroke occurs when the clot forms in one of the arteries within your brain. Poor circulation in your legs (i.e. peripheral vascular disease) can be caused by clots in the arteries of your legs. Blood clots from atrial fibrillation can travel through your bloodstream and cause a stroke or may occlude the arteries to your bowel resulting in a loss of blood supply to your bowel or even possible tissue death of your intestines.
Since a blood clot can result in devastating consequences, even death, your primary goal should be PREVENTION. Prevent blood clots from occurring, from worsening, or from happening again by following these simple suggestions:
CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR: Janet Caputo, PT, OCS is clinical director of physical therapy at Mackarey & Mackarey Physical Therapy Consultants, LLC in downtown Scranton where she practices orthopedic and sports physical therapy. She is currently a Doctor of Physical Therapy student at the University of Scranton.
MEDICAL EXPERT REVIEWER: Anthony J. Yanni, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Mercy Health Partners, Scranton, PA.
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: email@example.com
Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an affiliated faculty member at the University of Scranton, PT Dept.