blood clots & exercise

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by LongTimePCUser, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. LongTimePCUser

    LongTimePCUser Senior member

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    What are good recommendations for exercise after a blood clot?

    I was recently diagnosed with a blood clot in my left leg. DVT.
    The only symptom I had was that the left calf muscle seemed very swollen. No pain. I thought that I had sprained the muscle doing weight training so I ignored it. I went to see a doctor 10 days later. He sent me to get an ultrasound scan that diagnosed the clot.

    I am taking Coumadin now to prevent new clots.

    Two weeks later, the left calf is still swollen. 42 cm left. 38 cm right.
    The Coumadin does not dissolve the existing clot. It is intended to prevent future clots. The doctors say that the existing clot will dissolve slowly or maybe not at all.

    My next questions for the doctors are:
    "When will it be safe to start execising again?"
    "What exercises are safe? Can I do weight training?"
    "Can I do aerobic exercise like running or elliptic trainer?"

    Does anyone here have any experience with blood clots & serious exercise?
    What would you recommend? What exercises would you avoid?


     
  2. presidentender

    presidentender Golden Member

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    My only experience is secondhand. Did the docs tell you anything about exercise? If I remember properly, activity is what causes those things to break off and, you know, kill you.
     
  3. Red Dawn

    Red Dawn Elite Member

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    I recommend you go to a Doctor for advice with this condition
     
  4. LongTimePCUser

    LongTimePCUser Senior member

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    So far, my primary care physician say rest and it will get better. My INR blood test shows that the Coumadin is in the right theraputic range to reduce the risk of future blood clotting incidents.

    Since sitting too long is a primary cause for dvt, I think that I need to explore alternative sources of information. I am interested in finding out what other people have been told by their doctors.

    Many of you may remember that 50 years ago the recommendations following a heart attact was bed rest. Currently, the medical thinking is that supervised exercise is the healthier answer.

    I am scheduling an appointment with the cardiology surgeon who diagnosed the problem to find out what he says. Originally, in the hospital, his resident team told me that the clot would "stabilize" and that it would be possible to resume normal.



     
  5. dakels

    dakels Platinum Member

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    I don't think strenuous exercise is a good idea. Most physicians recommend rest to decrease the risk of pulmonary embolism (clot traveling to your lungs, very dangerous). In most cases, moderate exercise like walking is recommended but not much more then that.

    Your doctor can evaluate your risk potentials based on your history, conditions, severity of your case and overall health and stats to advise you. Until then, I would keep your socks on, take your wafarin, maintain a stable diet, and avoid strenous activity.
     
  6. DDK

    DDK Junior Member

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    I am also on coumadin for life, but I have had a clots and a PE . I now have one that has been in my left leg since Feb 2004. If this is your first episode I recommend you lay low for a while. I was in the Army I think a waited about 6 months before I resumed working out.
    However its been 4 year for me. The doctors say my clot is stable and basically stuck to the wall of my vein. There are some cases where the clots can be removed depending on what vein its in. You can also get a filter which will keep the clot from moving to your brain, heart or lungs. Hope this helps
     
  7. LongTimePCUser

    LongTimePCUser Senior member

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    Here is an update.
    I saw the vein specialist doctor again. 3 weeks after I first saw him with the clot.

    He said I could start doing moderate exercise. Walking on treadmill, elliptical trainer. Upper body weight training. No lower body weight training. No exercises where I bend my knees.

    They did another echo scan of my leg. They said the clot appears smaller now. But, my calf muscle is still swollen and seems to be the same size it was when it first happened.

    He prescribed a knee high compression sock. 20 - 30 mmHg. With the sock on, both calf muscles seem about the same size.
    The first day I walked a mile on the tread mill at about a 3.7 mph pace. The left calf muscle (the one with the clot) was uncomfortable afterwards. Since then, I have been walking more & doing elliptical and the left calf feels much better. Still, it is upsetting not being able to run and upsetting that my leg gets tired walking fairly slowly. Little, by little it is feeling better. It is hard to force myself to moderate the exercise and not try to go faster, but I am trying to be cautious about this.

    I get to see him again in a month.
     
  8. LongTimePCUser

    LongTimePCUser Senior member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Did the PE happen with your first blood clot?
    Have you had more blood clots?

     
  9. DDK

    DDK Junior Member

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    No problem, I have had two clots the PE came from the first clot (it went to my lung). I have one in my leg now and yes the pain is annoying but I am used to it.
     
  10. DCBeat

    DCBeat Junior Member

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    LongTime PC User -- any updates since your last posting in 2008?

    I'm wondering how long it finally took for your clots to dissolve and if you felt that adding exercise to your regime helped in any way. My clots are fairly extensive and I'm still trying to get my INR in the proper range. My doctor told me basically the same thing yours told you -- yes exercise, but moderately and no lower body (he also said I could go back to yoga as long it didn't involve lower body, but I haven't found any poses that meet that criteria yet). I took my first 10-15 min brisk walk today (3 weeks after initial diagnosis) and plan on doing a few of them throughout the day... I'm only 50 and fairly active so this has taken me by surprise.
     
  11. jacktesterson

    jacktesterson Diamond Member

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    I am only 26 and had a pulmonary embolism in May 2010 while flying to Dominican.

    Freaks the hell out of me.