A blood clot that forms in a blood vessel is called venous thrombosis. Thrombosis frequently occurs in the arms and legs, including thighs, calves and ankles.
There are two main types of thrombosis: superficial thrombophlebitis and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Symptoms of Superficial Thrombophlebitis
Superficial thrombophlebitis occurs in vessels just beneath the skin's surface. Symptoms include venous pain. Surrounding tissue may be painful, reddish, warm and tender to the touch. Causes include injury to the area, infection, pregnancy, use of birth control pills and sitting/lying down for long periods.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Deep vein thrombosis can be life-threatening and lead to pulmonary embolism (PE), in which a clot in a deep vein of the leg breaks free and travels to the heart and lungs. Symptoms of DVT include swelling to the area, pain, cramping and tenderness.
Treatment includes medicines like Heparin to break up clots and keep new ones from forming.
When travelling by car or plane, take frequent breaks to stretch legs and restore circulation. Drink plenty of non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated. If you are at risk for clots, wear compression socks or stockings when travelling.
If you have symptoms including unexplained swelling, redness or tenderness to an extremity, see your health care provider immediately. While superficial thrombophlebitis is not dangerous, DVT is life-threatening and easily treatable.