Deep Vein Thrombosis awareness month

With 46.6% or people doing some form of work at home during the pandemic, back, neck and shoulder pain will no doubt be causing people problems. Sitting at a desk, dining table or couch (please don’t do this one) puts stress on the body.

March is DVT awareness month, sitting for hours working away with little activity could predispose people to venous problems. With dark days, cold weather and lack of motivation to exercise it is easy to have a sedentary lifestyle. Sedentary lifestyles can be a risk factor associated with DVT. 

What is deep vein thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. DVT can be dangerous. Get medical help as soon as possible if you think you have DVT. 

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Throbbing or cramping pain in 1 leg (rarely both legs), usually in the calf or thigh.

  • Swelling in 1 leg (rarely both legs).

  • Warm skin around the painful area.

  • Red or darkened skin around the painful area.

  • Swollen veins that are hard or sore when you touch them.

What are the risk factors?

A DVT is more likely to happen if you:

  • Are over 60.

  • Are overweight.

  • Smoke.

  • Have had DVT before.

  • Take the contraceptive pill or HRT.

  • Have cancer or heart failure.

  • Have varicose veins.

There are also some temporary situations when you're at more risk of DVT. These include if you:

• Are staying in or recently left hospital – especially if you cannot move around much (like after an operation).

• Are confined to bed.

• Go on a long journey (more than 3 hours) by plane, car or train.

• Are pregnant, or if you've had a baby in the previous 6 weeks.

• Are dehydrated.

What can you do?

Move your body! Don’t stay sitting in the same position for prolonged periods.

Stretch throughout the day. Hold the stretch for 15 – 30 seconds.

Other top tips

• If you chair is too low it can cause back, shoulder and neck pain, use a cushion to boost seat height.  

• Raise your screen so your eyes are positioned at the top of the screen, use books or a shoe box to lift your screen.

• Use the 20:20:20 rule - Every 20 minutes look away from the screen at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

• Walk and talk for phone calls, get your body moving. 

About the author

Our lives run at such a fast pace these days and everything is mobile – banking, bookings, our social lives! What about learning? Learning takes place in so many ways, every day of your life you learn new things. That's why I love working at The National Training Academy, we can make a real difference.

A bit about me...

A couple of years ago I took the plunge and moved to the coast in North Wales, not knowing anyone, not knowing the area it was a real leap of faith, but it was the best move ever! Through lockdown it has been great, having beaches and mountains on my doorstep I'm truly blessed.  The great outdoors is one of lives simple pleasures.

In my spare time I love riding my Triumph Tiger (there's a growing number of female motorcyclists out there!). I love cooking, lockdown has given me the opportunity and time to try many new recipes, curries seem to have become a special favourite. 

Author: Claire Arthur

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