Thrombophlebitis happens when a blood clot causes blockage on one or more of the veins found in the legs, and sometimes it can also affect the veins found in the arms and neck. The affected veins can be found close to the surface of the skin and cause a superficial thrombophlebitis or deep into muscles, it will cause deep vein thrombosis. Thrombophlebitis can be caused by surgery, trauma, long periods of inactivity and people with varicose veins are susceptible to this condition.
Symptoms of superficial thrombophlebitis
- There is warmth, tenderness and pain in the affected areas
- There is redness and swelling
Symptom of deep vein thrombosis
- Swelling and pain
In a vein that is close to the surface of the skin that is affected, there is presence of red, hard and tender cord found under the surface of the skin. If it affects the deep veins found in the legs, it will become tender, swelling and painful.
Thrombophlebitis can be caused by an inherited blood clotting disorder, an injury that is caused to a vein and being immobile for long periods like during staying in a hospital.
Some complications that can be caused by thrombophlebitis including the following:
- Post-phlebetic syndrome is a condition which is also known as post-thrombotic syndrome and can happen in months or even for years if the person had thrombosis in the past years. It causes lasting and disabling pain, a feeling of heaviness in the affected leg and swelling.
- Pulmonary embolism is a condition where part of a deep vein clot becomes dislocated and it will travel to the lungs, where it will cause blockage of an artery or embolism and cause a serious problems.
- Edema or swelling of the legs
- The pooling of blood in the veins and cause them to form a balloon and result in varicose veins.
- Chronic swelling and an increased pressure on the skin. Discoloration of the skin can happen, sometimes skin ulcers can occur.
Treatment and home remedies
If he/she has superficial thrombophlebitis, the following measures can be performed:
- Use a warm washcloth or warm compress and place it to the affected area several times a day. If you want to learn the effectiveness of this measure, click here.
- Elevate the leg
- Take nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen
If he/she has deep vein thrombosis, you can perform the following:
- Take the prescribed anticoagulant medications in order to prevent complications
- Elevate the leg if it is swelling
- Wear compression stockings
The inactivity of a person like sitting for hours in a flight or riding in a car can cause swelling of the ankles and calves and it increases the risk of thrombophlebitis in the veins found in the legs. In order to help prevent a blood clot from forming, he/she should observe the following:
- If riding in an airplane, walk around the airplane cabin at least once an hour or so and if driving a vehicle, stop every hour and walk around.
- If seated, flex the ankles or press the feet against the floor or footrest in front of the person at least 10 times every hour.
- Avoid wearing clothing that are tight, and keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.