Blood Clot in Leg: Understanding the Warning Signs

Blog Post
By South Valley Vascular
April 15, 2024

Often, a blood clot in the leg can go ignored until it becomes dislodged and becomes a significant problem. However, understanding the warning systems before it’s too late can make a difference in mitigating a severe medical emergency. 

Today, we’ll explore the warning signs of deep vein thrombosis. Let’s examine them closely.

Blood Clot in Leg: The Symptoms

What makes spotting symptoms of blood clots in the leg so tricky is that they can occur without noticeable symptoms. However, some potential warning signs can indicate deeper vascular issues.

Some signs of a blood clot in the leg to look for include the following:

  • Swelling of the affected leg.
  • Leg pain, cramping, or soreness. This pain often starts in the calf.
  • There is a change in skin color around the affected area. Depending on your skin color, this could manifest as increased redness or purple coloration.
  • Excessive or unusual warmth radiating from the affected leg.

Blood Clots in Leg: Danger, Treatment and Solutions

Blood clots in the legs can occur more commonly if certain medical conditions predispose you to them. For example, a leg clot can develop if you don’t move your legs long. That can be because of travel or rest due to surgery, illness, or accident.

The real serious risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or other clots is when they break loose. A loose clot can travel through the bloodstream, get caught in the lungs, and block blood flow, causing a condition known as a pulmonary embolism. 

When DVT leads to a pulmonary embolism, they can be diagnosed together as venous thromboembolism (or VTE).

Should I See a Doctor?

A pulmonary embolism can be a potentially life-threatening complication of deep vein thrombosis. If you think you or a loved one are suffering from one, seek emergency medical help immediately.

These are signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Sudden shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain or discomfort. It will worsen either when coughing or taking deep breaths.
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness.
  • Fainting.
  • Rapid pulse.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Coughing up blood.

Moreover, several risk factors can contribute to your risk of developing blood clots. They can occur at any age, but older than 60 increases the risk. Other factors can increase the risk of DVT, like taking certain medications, being pregnant, overweight or obese, or smoking. Family history and genetics may play a factor as well.

Prevention Strategies

With that in mind, how can we prevent DVT? Start by regularly moving your legs. If you’ve been on bed rest or recently had surgery, try to move as soon as possible. Crossing your legs while sitting can also block blood flow.

Remember to take regular breaks while traveling to stretch your legs. When flying, stand or walk occasionally. When driving, try to stop about every hour to walk around or do lower leg exercises.

Get Vascular Relief from South Valley Vascular

Understanding these warning signs is the first step in lowering your risk of a dangerous pulmonary embolism. If you’re at risk of developing DVT or a pulmonary embolism, talk to a vascular specialist for more in-depth information. 

If you’re in the Central Valley and looking for vascular treatment, go to South Valley Vascular. They’ve provided friendly and professional vascular care in the area since 2005.

If you want more tips for improved vascular health, read more on South Valley’s blog, which offers valuable resources and educational information to help anyone’s vascular health. Contact South Valley Vascular to schedule your appointment today!