Stop Ignoring that Leg Pain; It Could Kill You

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition characterized by a blood clot forming in a vein situated deep inside the body. DVT mostly occurs in the thighs or lower legs but may also occur in the arms. DVT is considered a serious condition because the risk of a blood clot breaking away and lodging in a blood vessel in the lungs (a condition called pulmonary embolism) is high. When this happens, the blood flow is affected and may lead to potentially fatal conditions such as a stroke or heart attack.

DVT is caused by the inability of the blood vessels to move blood around the body. Because the blood stays longer in a particular area of the vein, blood clots tend to form.

People suffering from DVT may experience pain, discomfort or swelling in the legs. The affected leg may noticeably feel warm or look reddish or discolored. In serious cases, patients may feel short of breath or experience chest pain.

Treatment of DVT is mostly through medication and lifestyle changes that would prevent an existing blood clot from getting bigger or breaking off and future clots from forming.