Can You Exercise with DVT?

Blog Post
By BASS Vein Center
Can You Exercise with DVT?
January 17, 2023

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a venous condition in which blood clots form in one of the body’s deep veins. DVT can become serious if the blood clot breaks free and potentially travels into the lungs. Risk factors of DVT include age, weight, injury, or a history of venous disorders. Individuals who are at risk of DVT should know both the warning signs and how to manage the condition.

If you have DVT, it is always important to discuss treatment and care with your doctor. There are multiple treatment options that might be used depending on an individual’s case. Blood thinning medication, compression, and surgical procedures can all be used to treat DVT. But many people also wonder, can you exercise with DVT? Many patients are often concerned that strenuous exercise could break their blood clots loose or cause greater stress. But it’s important to know that light exercise can actually help alleviate the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis.

Exercising With DVT

While you can exercise with DVT, caution is heavily advised. Always discuss exercise plans with a doctor before attempting anything. Overly strenuous exercise while suffering from DVT can cause complications and negatively affect your health. Exercising with DVT should start light, and build up slowly over time.

A common exercise regimen involves going for walks every day and gradually adding more time to each walk. The following schedule reflects a commonly prescribed exercise routine for people with DVT:

  • Week 1: 5-minute walks, 3-4 times per day, taking breaks in between.
  • Week 2: 10-minute walks, 3-4 times per day, taking breaks in between.
  • Week 3: 20-minute walks, 3 times per day (totaling 1 hour), taking breaks in between.
  • Week 4: 30-minute walks, 2 times per day.
  • Week 5: One 40-minute walk each day.

The reason this walking regimen can help with DVT is that light exercise helps to improve circulation. As long as you don’t overwork yourself, exercising with DVT can actually lessen the risk of health complications associated with the condition.

Acceptable Exercises

Other light exercises and stretching routines can be used as part of your DVT treatment plan. Leg lifts and leg extensions, for instance, are commonly recommended to promote better circulation in the legs. This is where DVT most commonly occurs.

Additionally, light aerobic exercise, like swimming, jogging, or hiking, can help with recovery from blood clots. When recovering from any major medical condition, it is important to exercise lightly with a gradual buildup over time.

As always, any workout plan should be carefully discussed with a doctor before engaging in any exercise with DVT. While exercise can be highly beneficial to those with DVT, this is only the case if done so responsibly.

Other DVT Treatment Options

Exercise is an effective means to reduce the symptoms and risk of complications from DVT. But other medical options are available to treat DVT.

Prescribed blood thinners are one of the most frequently-used forms of DVT treatment. These medications reduce the risk of developing blood clots in the legs when taken as prescribed.

To remove a blood clot or treat the underlying cause of DVT, medical procedures are also available. These procedures are less common than at-home treatments, but are highly effective. Thrombolysis is a procedure in which a small catheter is inserted to break up blood clots and stabilize blood flow. Other medical procedures are available to treat vein disorders by sealing or removing the damaged veins. These procedures often have surprisingly quick recovery times, allowing patients to return home and resume normal activities the same day.

To learn more about vein disease and vein health, or schedule a consultation for DVT treatment, contact BASS Vein Center. With six California locations, Bass Vein Center is the region’s most trusted source for vein treatment.

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