It’s travel time, beware of DVT’s

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It’s travel time, beware of DVT’sAre you planning to travel this holiday season? Will you be spending long periods of time sitting still in a car, train or airplane?

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Travelers sitting motionless, for extended periods of time, may be at risk for a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A DVT is a blood clot that develops in the deep veins of the legs, blocking blood flow, causing pain and swelling. A blood clot that breaks free, and moves through the bloodstream, can cause blockage of blood vessels in the lung called a pulmonary embolism. This can lead to severe difficulty in breathing and even death.
A DVT can be painful and dangerous if you don’t know what it is and how to identify it while you’re travelling. The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that 1 out of every 1,000 Americans develop a DVT each year.

Risk factors for blood clots include:

• long periods of inactivity;
• cigarette smoking;
• fractures in the pelvis or legs;
• giving birth within the last 6 months;
• heart failure;
• medications such as estrogen and birth control pills;
• obesity
• Recent surgery.

Helpful hints to avoid a DVT include:

• Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
• Wear support hose.
• Wear loose clothing that doesn’t restrict movement. Avoid tight underwear.
• Don’t take a sleeping pill when flying as the effect of these will further limit your mobility.
• If possible, don’t let your thighs press on the edge of your seat — slide your legs and bottom forward so that the angle between your legs and abdomen is more open and your bottom is nearer the front of the seat. (This may not be possible if you are tall or have long legs.)
• Use footrests where available or rest your feet on luggage to get your feet up.
• Do exercises that include flexing and stretching your legs and feet to encourage blood flow from your legs to your heart .Upper body exercises improve overall circulation.
• A baby aspirin is recommended before trips lasting more than 8 hours

TRAVELING EXERCISES

t31. Foot circles. Lift your feet off the floor. Moving both feet together, draw an imaginary circle with each big toe so that each foot rotates about the ankle joint. Continue several times in one direction, then repeat in the other direction.

t52. Heel lift/Toe lift. Start with your feet flat on the floor. Then lift your heels as high as is comfortable while leaving your toes and the balls of your feet on the floor. Lower your heels and repeat several times. Now leave your heels on the floor and gently lift your toes and the front of your feet off the floor, thus flexing your ankle as far as is comfortable. Lower and repeat several times.


t73.
Knee raises. Sitting upright with your feet flat on the floor, lift one leg up while keeping your knee bent, hold for 2-3 seconds, then lower. Do the same with the other leg. Repeat the sequence at least 20 times for each leg.


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Knee curls. Sitting upright, gently lean forward while at the same time raising one knee. Grasp the knee with both arms and gently pull the leg towards your chest as you then lean back. Hold for 15 seconds, then release and gently lower the leg. Do the same for the other leg. Repeat the sequence 10 times. 

t65. Neck stretches. Start with your head in an upright position. Gently drop your right ear towards your right shoulder as far as is comfortable. Then gently roll your head forwards until you are looking down at your lap. Finally roll your head gently up towards your left shoulder, then lift your head to the upright position. Alternate the direction and repeat several times.

t86. Shoulder rolls. Sitting comfortably, roll your shoulders gently backwards, continuing in a circular motion, several times. Repeat the circles, rolling your shoulders forwards several times.

 

 

This year we hope you will follow these holiday traveling tips and do not become a victim of DVT’s. At the Gentle Foot Care Center we wish you Healthy Holidays.

Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen and the Gentle Foot Care Center are located on US 27. For more information call 863-381-4869 or visit www. Gentlefootcarecenter.com

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