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Why is exercise important if I have DVT?

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Exercise is important for people with DVT because it helps circulation and eases symptoms of something called venous insufficiency. That's a condition in which blood doesn't flow well back to your heart. Aerobic activity -- things like walking, hiking, swimming, dancing, and jogging -- can also help your lungs work better after a pulmonary embolism.

Studies show that exercise also can improve symptoms of DVT -- including swelling, discomfort, and redness. Physical activity can also make you feel more energized.

If you have DVT, being active is especially important for your legs. That's where blood clots usually form. Your blood has to flow uphill from your legs to your heart. Strong muscles in your legs help squeeze veins to push that blood upward. Anything that slows that flow -- an injury, a surgery that lays you up for a while, weakness in leg muscles, or inactivity -- can contribute to a clot.

SOURCES:

Circulation : "A Patient’s Guide to Recovery After Deep Vein Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism."

CDC: "What is Venous Thromboembolism?

Society for Vascular Surgery: "Deep Vein Thrombosis."

CDC: "Data and Statistics on Venous Thromboembolism."

National Blood Clot Alliance: "Blood Clot FAQs -- Follow-Up Care."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Chronic Venous Insufficiency."

World Journal of Cardiology : "Aerobic vs anaerobic exercise training effects on the cardiovascular system."

Harvard Health Publishing: "Deep vein thrombosis."

North American Thrombosis Forum: "DVT: Guidelines for Activity and Exercise."

National Blood Clot Alliance: "Blood Clot FAQs -- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism Follow Up Care."

North Carolina Blood Research Center: "How Long After My Clot Can I Resume Physical Activities?"

Cleveland Clinic: "Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Management and Treatment."

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews : "Graduated compression stockings for prevention of deep vein thrombosis."

Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis : "Guidance for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 18, 2020

SOURCES:

Circulation : "A Patient’s Guide to Recovery After Deep Vein Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism."

CDC: "What is Venous Thromboembolism?

Society for Vascular Surgery: "Deep Vein Thrombosis."

CDC: "Data and Statistics on Venous Thromboembolism."

National Blood Clot Alliance: "Blood Clot FAQs -- Follow-Up Care."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Chronic Venous Insufficiency."

World Journal of Cardiology : "Aerobic vs anaerobic exercise training effects on the cardiovascular system."

Harvard Health Publishing: "Deep vein thrombosis."

North American Thrombosis Forum: "DVT: Guidelines for Activity and Exercise."

National Blood Clot Alliance: "Blood Clot FAQs -- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism Follow Up Care."

North Carolina Blood Research Center: "How Long After My Clot Can I Resume Physical Activities?"

Cleveland Clinic: "Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Management and Treatment."

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews : "Graduated compression stockings for prevention of deep vein thrombosis."

Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis : "Guidance for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 18, 2020

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Why are leg exercises important if I have DVT?

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