Pregnancy

Deep Vein Thrombosis: Everything you need to know about diagnosis and prevention. 

By Jackie Oliver, DPT
jackie@excelptmt.com

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot or thrombus forms in one of your deep veins due to slow moving blood. Most often a DVT occurs in the calf or lower leg, however a DVT can also form in other regions of the body such as the arm. Learning what puts you at risk for developing a DVT, as well as being able to identify the signs and symptoms associated with this medical condition is important for prevention of more serious complications like a pulmonary embolism (blocking blood flow to the lungs).  

The signs and symptoms of a DVT can include swelling in the affected leg, usually in the calf. This will normally feel sore and tender to touch. You may also see redness and warmth associated with the swelling. The hallmark sign of a DVT is that the pain does not increase or decrease with a change in position. DVTs can mimic a musculoskeletal injury like a calf strain without other symptoms like swelling and redness. The thing to remember is that a calf strain would have a mechanism of injury or a specific onset, whereas a DVT would have a history of prolonged sitting or recent surgery.  

Risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing a DVT include: a recent surgery, prolonged bed rest, pregnancy, smoking, age or sitting for long periods of time like when you are driving or flying.

If you find yourself in one of these categories there are a few measures you can take for prevention: 

1.) Avoid sitting still for prolonged periods. If you do have to be sitting or immobile for prolonged periods such as long plane flights or being laid up in bed recovering from a surgery or sickness, try pumping your feet up and down to get your muscles working and the blood flowing in your legs. 

2.) Wearing compression stockings during periods of immobility can help decrease the risk of developing a DVT. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about getting compression stockings for travel or after surgery. 

3.) Regular exercise can also lower your risk of blood clots. A new study published by the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis states that participation in sports, regardless of intensity, can lower your risk of developing blood clots by up to 39%. Regular exercise also decreases your BMI, which can also lower your risk.  

If you think you have symptoms related to a DVT it is important to get it checked out at an Urgent Care or Emergency Department as soon as possible. Your doctor will be able to detect a DVT using compression ultrasonography and will treat accordingly. DVTs can be a serious health problem but knowing the signs and symptoms can help prevent complications. Discovered early, complications from DVTs are preventable and easily treatable. 

 

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Jackie Oliver, DPT has an intense passion for helping and educating others as well as preventative medicine. Because of her college sports background, she loves working with athletes, biomechanical training and sport injury prevention. She is also trained as a Diabetes Lifestyle Coach and has worked for the University of Utah and CDC helping individuals decrease their risk of developing diabetes. Jackie is a certified dry needling provider with advanced training from Evidence in Motion and KinetaCore. Jackie also leads our Work Site Solutions programs.

 

Pregnancy and Exercise Tips by Megan Peach, DPT, CSCS

By Megan Peach, DPT, OCS, CSCS
megan@excelptmt.com

Just in case you missed our most recent library presentation on pregnancy & exercise, here’s a recap with some helpful tips for exercising while pregnant!

 

Pregnancy is an incredible time in a family’s life with LOTS of changes for everyone involved and LOTS of questions about the unknown. As an expectant mother myself, I realized that not a lot of guidance exists regarding exercise during pregnancy. With a little research, here’s what I found:

 

Exercise during pregnancy can be beneficial for both mother and baby, however you must check in with your prenatal care provided prior to beginning an exercise program and also regularly throughout your pregnancy to ensure the health of you and your baby. Benefits of exercise during pregnancy can include reduced risk of premature labor, reduced swelling, reduced risk of gestational diabetes & preeclampsia, decreased low back pain, and increased regularity of the digestive system.

 

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes of daily exercise of moderate intensity for healthy pregnant women. Examples of moderate intensity are walking 3-4 miles per hour (15-20 minute miles), light swimming or cycling, and light resistance exercise. Can you maintain a conversation while exercising? If so, you are likely exercising at a moderate intensity.

 

Water walking or aerobic water exercise is a good option as water exercise can decrease force across joints as well as prevent an harmful rise in core temperature. Resistance and core exercises are appropriate during pregnancy provided that resistance is kept low (preferably body weight only) with high repetitions, and no sit-ups! Yoga is a great alternative to traditional core exercises although some positions may have to be modified to accommodate your growing belly and you should avoid inverted positions after 32 weeks gestation. Don’t forget the Kegels! It’s important to maintain your pelvic floor strength with kegel exercises during pregnancy to help prevent incontinence and to support the pelvic floor as it becomes stressed with the weight of the growing baby.

 

Some general advice for exercising during pregnancy:

  • Warming up and cooling down may be even more important during pregnancy than before to redistribute blood flow to working muscles in preparation for exercise.

  • Due to weight gain, changes in center of mass and balance, and hormonal fluctuations, exercise during pregnancy may feel different from exercise prior to pregnancy.

  • Listen to your body and stop if you feel discomfort! It’s important to stop exercise immediately if you experience the following signs and symptoms and contact your care provided should symptoms persist: dizziness, headache, chest pain, calf pain or swelling, bleeding, pre-term labor, amniotic fluid leakage. The farther along you are you are in your pregnancy, the more you may have to decrease the intensity and/or duration of exercise depending on your energy levels.

  • Pay attention to hydration, heat stress, fatigue, & exercise intensity as these may change from one week to the next.

Without a doubt, exercise during pregnancy has substantial benefits to mother & baby provided it is practiced safely. Please do not hesitate to contact your prenatal care provider should you have questions regarding exercise & your pregnancy!

 

Benefits of exercise during pregnancy can include reduced risk of premature labor, reduced swelling, reduced risk of gestational diabetes & preeclampsia, decreased low back pain, and increased regularity of the digestive system.

 

If you have any specific questions, contact Megan Peach of Excel Physical Therapy at 406.556.0562 in our Bozeman office.

 

 

Pregnancy Exercise Recommendations Handout

By Megan Peach, DPT, OCS, CSCS
megan@excelptmt.com

Thank you to all who attended Megan Peach, DPT, CSCS’ presentation last night at the @Bozeman Library!  Per Megan’s recommendations, be sure to consult your health care provider before beginning or adjusting any exercise program.

Here is the link to Megan’s handout for the exercises discussed:

201306_exercise&pregnancy_handout

If you have any further questions, contact Megan at 406-556-0562.

"Remarkable job making my hip feel better! The first six miles of our crazy mountain hike went well but we had to turn back- because of someone's disintegrating boots, not my hip!!" -- A.G., Bozeman Patient

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