If you are looking for deep vein thrombosis treatment at home, you have come to the right place. Get ready to learn about some of the most natural remedies for treatment and prevention of DVT (deep vein thrombosis).
Please, if you suspect you have a DVT, call your physician immediately. A DVT can be very serious (even life threatening) if left untreated.
DVT Risk Factors
- History of smoking
- Over 40 years old
- Recent surgery of any kind
- Immobilization due to: surgical recovery, airplane or vehicle travel, or other medical condition (recovering from a stroke etc.)
- Past history of DVT or pulmonary embolism
- Pregnancy (especially up to 6 weeks post partum)
- Recent history of injury or trauma
Signs and Symptoms of DVT
Before discussing deep vein thrombosis home remedies, let’s first talk about the signs and symptoms of a DVT. Again, if you have any of these symptoms, it is very important to let your physician know as soon as possible. Some DVT’s require medication to treat and your physician may want to evaluate you further.
Signs and symptoms of DVT:
- Redness or discoloration in an extremity (often a leg)
- Cramping, soreness or pain in your extremity (often a leg)
- Significant swelling, (often in your calf)
- Tenderness/pain with palpation or when you squeeze the affected area
Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment at Home
Before starting a DVT natural treatment, check with your physician if you have a confirmed DVT. Otherwise, use these tips as preventative measures!
One of the most natural remedies for DVT is hydration. Maintaining adequate hydration levels helps significantly with blood flow and blood viscosity. For adults, this means drinking until your urine is clear or a light yellow.
Another DVT natural treatment is movement. When you move, blood flow increases in your body. This can include walking, bed exercises (ankle pumps, ankle circles, calf stretching) and seated exercises (seated calf raises, marching, and leg kicks). It is important to move as much as you can tolerate.
If you have any risk factors for DVT, avoid long periods of immobility. Be sure to stop every 2-3 hours on a road trip and walk. If you are flying, walk often and perform seated exercises while enjoying your flight.
Compression stockings are another deep vein thrombosis natural treatment. Compression stockings apply a constant pressure force to the veins in your legs. As a result, your blood flow increases, making it easier for blood to return to your heart. Aiding your body’s circulation is helpful for preventing and treating DVT. Unfortunately, a downside to compression stockings is that most people find them very uncomfortable.
The most comfortable at home DVT treatment is leg elevation. Elevating your legs on a contoured leg wedge is essential for preventing and managing DVT. A contoured leg elevation pillow cradles your legs without applying pressure on any sore spots you may have. Elevating also helps blood return from your leg veins back to your heart. This increase in circulation is beneficial for all body systems and reduces swelling, inflammation, and stress on your veins.
You will want to elevate your legs on your incline pillow for 15 minutes at a time, 3-5 times a day. While you elevate, perform simple exercises like ankle pumps, ankle circles, a calf stretch with a strap, and ankle alphabets (pretend your big toe is a pen and write each letter of the alphabet by moving your ankle and foot). This increases blood flow and will increase the effect of elevating your legs.
In conclusion, deep vein thrombosis treatment at home includes: hydration, movement, compression stockings, and the most comfortable- leg elevation! Taking these steps will help you on your journey to healing and preventing DVT!
-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy