Holiday Leg Pain

It is officially the holiday season, and many people celebrate by traveling.  Unfortunately, certain travelers overlook the impact that long trips have on their health.  Extended periods of immobility when traveling elevate the risk of serious cardiovascular complications.

Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is when the valves in the veins do not work properly, blood flows backward and collects in the legs, causing itchy and painful swelling.  Enlarged veins, leg ulcers, restless leg syndrome, spasms, and blood clots are other possible symptoms.  Venous insufficiency can worsen during long periods of sitting during travel and increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in deep veins and most commonly happens in the legs.  There is a danger the clot will break loose and become lodged in the brain, lungs, kidneys, or heart with serious or fatal consequences.  Being immobile and confined while traveling restricts the veins and blood flow slows, making a clot more likely.  People with certain kinds of cancer, clotting disorders, damaged veins, pregnant, or obese are at greater risk for deep vein thrombosis.  Be vigilant of symptoms including leg pain, cramping or soreness, swelling, and red or discolored skin.

Make sure deep vein thrombosis and venous insufficiency are not part of your travel plans this season with an exam at Carolina Heart and Leg Center, P.A.  Your doctor will evaluate your cardiovascular health and outline healthy travel habits so that you arrive at the holidays safely.

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