Blood clots can happen anywhere in your body, including in your feet.
Blood clots can occur anywhere you have veins, including inside your feet. Recognizing the signs of a blood clot in your foot will prompt you to seek treatment for what could be a potentially severe complication.
Seven signs of a blood clot in the foot
Clots happen when blood pools due to a malfunction in the tiny valves inside your veins. Ordinarily, these valves open and close to push blood upward to the heart. But if the valves weaken, blood backflows and pools within the vein, giving blood cells a chance to bind and form a clot that blocks blood flow.
When clots form in the deep veins of the leg or feet, it’s known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Although DVT may not always display visible symptoms, you should be on the lookout for the following:
Pain and swelling in one foot
Noticeably swollen veins in the foot
Skin that feels warm to the touch
Changes in skin tone to reddish or blue
Numbness in the foot
Sharp pain when the foot is flexed
Pain that doesn’t go away with rest
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, or blood-stained cough, go to the ER for immediate medical intervention. An ultrasound exam and other tests can confirm the presence of a blood clot in the foot. Treatment for DVT by a qualified vascular surgeon, such as those at Center for Vein Restoration, can prevent the clot from moving from the foot to the lungs, where it can cause a potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE).
Preventing and treating a blood clot in the foot
A blood clot in the foot requires medical care. Blood thinners are typically the first line of treatment. Your doctor may also prescribe thrombolytic medications to break up a clot. A filter placed in the vena cava, the large abdominal vein, can catch a clot before it travels to the lungs. In rare cases, you may need surgery to remove a large clot in the foot.
The best way to prevent a clot from happening is to understand your risk factors. An injury to your foot or being bedridden after surgery raises the risk of a clot. Being overweight or not exercising regularly also puts enormous pressure on your veins. If you have a family history of blood clots, talk to your doctor about prevention.
Fortunately, you can counter those risks with these simple tips and lifestyle changes:
Lose weight. Eating right and exercising will shed the extra pounds that add stress to your veins. Build your diet around fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods. If you can’t make it to the gym, take a brisk, 30-minute walk daily to strengthen your calf muscles so they can help pump blood through the veins.
Wear compression stockings. Compression stockings improve circulation by gently squeezing the leg veins. Compression stockings are recommended if you sit at a desk all day or are on a long plane ride.
Stop smoking. Tobacco restricts blood flow in the veins and arteries, increasing the chance of a blood clot.
Stay active. While regular exercise is great, you can get your blood pumping even when seated. Make circles with your ankles at your desk. You can also raise the balls of your feet while your heels are on the floor and then raise your heels while the balls touch the floor. These exercises may sound simple, but they can do a lot to keep your blood moving.
Vein care for Texas residents
Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) operates two facilities in Austin, Texas, to help residents get treatment for blood clots, varicose veins, and other vascular disorders. Both offices are led by Aditya Gupta, MD, RPVI, DABVLM, an experienced vein physician who holds board certification in Internal Medicine and Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. Dr. Gupta will evaluate each patient individually and develop an effective treatment plan tailored to their lifestyles and needs.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Gupta, visit www.centerforvein.com, or call 800-FIX-LEGS to speak to a representative.
11111 Research Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78759
7900 Farm to Market Road 1826
Building 1, Suite 170
Austin, TX 78737