After a thrombosis, you will never be “the same”! The disease always ends up with a “residual condition” that you have to live with for the rest of your life. This is the post-thrombotic condition, or post-thrombotic syndrome as it is medically known. Keeping the symptoms in balance and especially preventing recurrence of thrombosis is in your hands. You have to “take care of it” every day, all the time. Let’s look at your options.
What is a residual condition?
A thrombosis is a blockage of a blood vessel. For some reason, blood clots in a blood vessel (usually a vein) and blocks it.
When this develops, it causes a lot of pain, which usually gets you to hospital quickly, where “blood thinners” and other treatments are started.
If you’re lucky and the clot doesn’t break free, you won’t have an embolism, but that doesn’t mean you escape the consequences.
The blood clot is constantly changing, partly being absorbed and partly having connective tissue deposited in it. By the 90th to 120th day after the thrombosis develops, the process is complete.
How many symptoms remain depends on many things. How big the thrombus (blood clot) was, how quickly you started treatment, and how your blood clotting and regeneration system is.
One thing is for sure, the circulation in your affected leg will never be the same as it was before the thrombosis. You will therefore have to live with different symptoms for the rest of your life!
How much suffering you suffer depends on what you do to manage the condition after the thrombosis (post-thrombotic syndrome).
Symptoms after Thrombosis
You can see almost everything in this picture.
- The affected limb is swollen
- You experience a tensing pain and a “heavy leg” sensation
- Your skin becomes brownish-purple-reddish
- Your skin dries out, cracks and oozes yellowish discharge (lymph)
- More serious cases may result in a non-healing wound (ulcer)
Targets for home management of the post-thrombotic condition
- Prevent recurrence and recurrence of thrombosis
- Reduce symptoms of residual conditions
Possibilities to prevent recurrence of thrombosis
If you have already had a thrombosis, you are at a significant risk of recurrence. You need to look after yourself for the rest of your life. Thrombosis is much easier to prevent than to treat!
- Take the medication you were prescribed when you left the hospital regularly.
- Some “blood thinners” should be given to keep your blood “clotting” at a certain level. How much medicine you need depends on the results of your current blood test. Your body’s need for medication may change from time to time, so it should be checked regularly.
- Never arbitrarily change the amount of medicine you take, unless you have discussed it with your doctor.
- Get regular lab tests. In general, it is worth checking the effects of your medicines every month or two.
- Move on a daily basis. This is the best medicine. 60-70 minutes of walking, jogging, cycling (even in several parts) a day.
- If you’re going on a long car, bus or plane journey, stop or get up from your seat every half hour and walk a bit.
- Stop smoking.
- If you’re still affected, stop taking birth control pills.
- If you are overweight, change your diet and lose a few pounds. Regular exercise is the best and most effective way to lose weight.
- Blood thinning treatment will be needed for at least 3-6 months after the thrombosis. It is up to the doctor to judge whether it is still needed after that. If you don’t change anything (e.g. lose weight, stop smoking, exercise), the drugs can “stick”, i.e. you can never stop taking them. If you reduce your risk factors, you have a chance of doing this.
Treatment options after a thrombosis
Veins run throughout your body. They collect blood that your body has used up and transport it back to the heart, from where it is carried to the lungs where it takes up fresh oxygen. This is then carried back to your organs by arteries.
Superficial veins collect and transport blood from the skin, mucous membranes and areas close to the body’s surface. They do not run back to the heart on the surface but connect to thick deep veins running between tissues. These large “channels” run to the heart.
Blood in the veins is set in motion when the muscles around them contract and squeeze blood out of them. The muscle pump always pushes the blood towards the heart because the valves (gates) in the veins only allow it to flow in that direction.
This is why regular exercise is the “engine” of venous circulation, without exercise the blood does not flow and is prone to clotting and thrombosis.
I’m not telling you to take up competitive sports! Regular walking is the way to go. If your condition only allows you to walk around the room a few times, then do that much, but definitely do it several times a day!
If you can, jog or cycle. Regularly, i.e. at least 3-4 times a week for at least an hour at a time (more is better!).
What can you do at home against thrombosis?
If you’ve had a thrombosis and are physically able to move, exercise is your main medicine! Never stop. If your legs are very varicose, you should also use compression stockings.
- you are unable to move due to paralysis or muscle weakness
- you are unable to move actively due to another condition or illness
- significant excess weight prevents you from exercising enough
- you are temporarily unable to move following surgery
- you cannot move because of joint pain or injury
- you are travelling long distances
In the case of post-thrombotic conditions, treatments are aimed at stimulating venous circulation in your legs.
Medical devices for home treatment
Muscle stimulator device
Stimulates blood circulation by stimulating the leg muscles. Effectively makes up for lack of movement. During the treatment, the contractions in the muscles mimic walking, i.e. it works in a similar way to natural walking. Stimulation treatments are painless, can be repeated at any frequency, and are harmless.
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- Double-channel muscle stimulator
- Programs for muscle pain, muscle stiffness relief, muscle atrophy prevention and muscle strength recovery
- Recommended for small area treatment such as unilateral shoulder, forearm, calf pain, neck, back and waist pain
[message title=”Elite SII Multifunction Electrotherapy Device” title_color=”#ffffff” title_bg=”#1e73be” title_icon=”” content_color=”#000000″ content_bg=”#ededed” id=””]
- 2-channel electrotherapy device
- Multifunctional, versatile
- TENS | EMS, NMES, FES
- Recovery and sports applications
Lymphatic massage aka Compression Therapy units
Also known as wave massage or trace therapy machines. These machines work by inflating a boot-like cuff on the leg. They use pressure to squeeze excess blood out of your leg. They stimulate circulation. This is the most effective home treatment for post-thrombotic conditions. I recommend the Power Q-2200 lymphatic massage machine.
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- Medium skill level, up to 12 air chambers.
- Up to 3 cuffs of up to 4 air chambers each at the same time.
- It can treat and improve a wide range of conditions, diseases and symptoms, from mild to moderate.
- You can use it for oedema affecting both arms and legs
- Home treatment of mild to moderate lymphoedema without complications
[message title=”Power Q-1000 Premium compression therapy unit” title_color=”#ffffff” title_bg=”#1e73be” title_icon=”” content_color=”#000000″ content_bg=”#ededed” id=””]
- 4 compression chamber cuffs
- Use it equally in oedema affecting the arms or legs.
- Optimal for arm swelling, developing after breast removal surgery (mastectomy)
- Eliminate the feeling of heaviness of legs, and tension pains caused by varicosity.
- Relieve swelling of your feet associated with varicosity in pregnancy.