4 Causes of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in the lower leg or thigh.

A blood clot in the deep veins is a health concern because it can cause life-threatening complications such as when a piece of the blood clot breaks off or travels through the blood stream, through the heart, and into the lungs leading to pulmonary embolism.

Early warning signs and symptoms

Sometimes deep vein thrombosis can occur without noticeable symptoms but when present they include;

  • Swelling, soreness and pain in the affected leg
  • A feeling of warmth in the affected leg
  • Redness or discoloration of skin on the leg
  • Leg cramps, often starting in the calf
  • Leg pain that worsens when bending the foot

Causes of deep vein thrombosis

The blood clots of deep vein thrombosis can be caused by anything that prevents your blood from circulating or clotting normally including:

1. Limited movements

When your legs remain still for hours, your calf muscles don’t contract, which normally helps blood circulate. Blood clots can form in the calves of your legs if your calf muscles don’t move for long periods. This can happen in cases such as when sitting for a long time while traveling, crossing the legs, bedridden due to paralysis or other reasons.

2. Surgery

Blood clots are a serious complication that surgical patients can experience during and after a procedure.

This is because a patient will be lying still on the operating table for an extended period of time during the surgery. On the other hand, after surgery some people are inactive because they are in pain, very sick, or unable to walk.

3. Injury to a vein

An injury to a vein be caused by a fracture, muscle injury, or major surgery.

4. Certain medications

Some research studies have indicated that there may be a small increased risk of DVT associated with some types of oestrogen-containing oral contraceptive pills, as well as some menopausal hormone therapies.


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