How to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis


With the holiday season in full swing, many of us are spending countless hours on seemingly endless flights. But did you know a medical condition caused by all of that sitting can cause a potentially life-threatening blood clot? Read on for tips about how to prevent deep vein thrombosis.

Sitting for hours on the plane can lead to the pooling of blood in the legs and the development of a blood clot called deep-vein thrombosis or DVT.

The good news: You can prevent most problems through movement. Renown Health would like to share with you some fun and simple exercises you can do in your seat.

Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis with These Simple Tips

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises, “Almost anyone can have DVT. People traveling for extended periods of time may be at increased risk for DVT because they have limited movement. The increased risk is usually associated with air travel, but DVT can also form during travel by bus, train, or car.”

The CDC goes on to suggest that those who develop travel-associated DVT typically have additional risk factors, including:

  • A previous blood clot
  • Family history of blood clots
  • Known clotting disorder
  • Recent surgery or injury
  • Use of estrogen-containing birth control or hormone replacement therapy
  • Older age
  • Obesity
  • Active cancer (or undergoing chemotherapy)
  • Limited mobility

So to prevent travel-related DVT, these exercises could help: 

ankle circles
Ankle circles

Ankle circles. Lift feet and draw a circle with your toes, moving feet towards, then away from each other for 30 seconds.

Foot pumps. Lift toes with feet on the floor, then lift your heals. Continue for 30 second.

Neck roll. Relax shoulders, slowly drop ear to right, then roll neck slowly forward and to the left.

knee lifts_deep vein thrombosis
Knee lifts

Knee lifts. Put hands on thighs, lift leg to chest with knee bent while contracting thigh muscle, alternate legs. Repeat 20 to 30 times.

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