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Minimizing your Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) risk factors

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The best thing you can do: keep moving

Although there are a handful of things that can put you at risk for deep vein (), medical science has not identified the full range of causes. At least 50% of the time, it is impossible to verify why a formed. There are, however, a number of known lifestyle factors that are strongly correlated with the risk of developing a first or second blood clot. By adjusting your lifestyle, you may be able to reduce your risk.

Mobility is a major player

Sometimes moving more is easier said than done. If you have cancer, you may be fatigued; if you’ve recently had surgery, it may not be possible to go for a daily 10-minute stroll; if you are dealing with , that same 10-minute stroll could send your heart racing.

Whatever your situation, the initial goal is to reduce your risk. You can do that with small low-impact movements that get your heart rate up and your blood moving. If you have a limited range of motion or are under doctor’s orders (such as bed rest), ask your doctor about the best way to stay active and safe under the circumstances.

What about age?

Although aging does not cause , the condition does tend to affect older individuals more often. This is because age is linked to many of the high-risk situations that can lead to . For example, certain types of cancer occur more frequently as we age, and mobility and recovery periods after surgery can be more of a challenge in our later years.

is a serious condition, but getting control of your risk factors can go a long way towards preventing future clots from forming. If you need more information on certain risk factors and how to minimise them, please contact your doctor.
Elderly man cycling

You can make small adjustments to your daily regime

Try to stay as active as you can

  • Gentle exercise can help relieve pain. It is best to avoid anything that is too intense and may cause bruising. 
  • When you are not sleeping, avoid sitting or lying down without taking frequent breaks for walking and moving around. On the other hand, you should also try not to stand up for too long as this can lead to swelling in the legs. Vary your position and try to incorporate small movements.
  • If possible, avoid long-haul flights during the first months of treatment. If that is not possible, be sure to speak with your doctor and follow the above advice. Get up and move around as frequently as possible and keep your legs propped up whenever possible.

MAT 50150 Last approved April 2022

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