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DVT and Osteopathy

DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis relates to a clot in a vein in the leg. It is a potentially fatal problem which can lead to a lung clot or heart attack.

Signs and symptoms to watch out for include:

  • A sudden onset, deep calf or leg pain which can feel like a torn muscle or nerve pain or acute cramp
  • There is usually marked swelling in the lower leg and thigh - by more than 3cm
  • Easy location of the most tender area
  • Sometimes discolouration of the skin - redness and bruising is common
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme weakness
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain

Other associated risk factors or considerations which may cause clots include:

  • For women taking oral contraceptives
  • Any type of cancer
  • History of pulmonary embolisms (lung clots)
  • History of trauma
  • History of heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Period of prolonged sitting e.g flying or in a car
  • Extended bed rest
  • Pregnancy (5 times as likely)
  • Dehydration

Sometimes clients come in because of the leg pain with no previous diagnosis. At other times clients come to see Gayle having had all the appropriate medical treatment because the situation is not self-resolving and they need some more help.

In both cases the appropriate action to take can differ.

If there is a suspicion of a recent DVT Gayle will recommend that you see your GP urgently or go straight to A&E for an ultrasound / scan and be put onto Heparin - a drug which reduces the clot. You will also have a blood test done immediately to test for clotting factors in the blood - another sign that a DVT imay resent.

You will be asked to avoid much weight-bearing initially to prevent any of the clot breaking off and causing further problems. Gentle walking is fine though. Osteopathy can be very helpful in aiding the body's healing mechanisms to reduce not only the clot but also the swelling and tenderness in the leg and surrounding tissues.

Case History:

One of my 60 year old patients presented seven weeks after an initial (but undiagnosed DVT despite seeing the GP and hospital!) and, following a further, much more severe, DVT.

Earlier this week I was in a very bad place. Having recently been diagnosed with DVT the physical and mental pain was excruciating and had left me so low I was wondering what I was going to do.

Work was difficult as it was difficult to concentrate with the constant aching of my calf muscle and the tiredness the pain has caused from sleep loss my quality of life was almost zero.

Then I knew that I had to do something, so after some research it became clear that Osteopathy may be able to help .

Research in Canada & USA has found it can help in the pain management of DVT therefore improving quality of life.

I had previously been to see you with other lesser problems and I knew if osteopathy could work, you would be able to help.

Well, 1 call and 1 visit and I had my life back.

I know that it just the start, but I am so grateful what you have done. Thank you.

I'm sure they'll be many others who are or have been at the end of their tether similar to me. I would urge them to get in contact and talk to you.

Again many, many thanks. T.B.

From my Osteopathic perspective:

His right leg was still swollen and warmer and redder than the left one when he arrived. There was tenderness to the touch and especially just above the inside of the knee where the DVT was located. He reported that his whole leg felt sore and tight and a bit numb too.

On gentle examination I found that whilst the leg itself was performing and draining poorly, the abdomen was too. On being told by the hospital that he did indeed have a DVT he felt very unwell and passed out. The shock of the news seems to have caused his diaphragm and body to go into shock.

This shock resulted in the abdomen and lower extremities lead them to reduce their fluid functions and drainage markedly which had been maintaining the problem.

Therefore, unlike many practitioners who want to cure the problem - I started by "clearing the channels". I osteopathically released the diaphragm and lumbar spine using cranio-sacral techniques. Aftr just a few minutes he could feel the blood and warmth return to these areas. This opening gradually moved down to the pelvis and lower extremities both sides.

Within just 15 minutes of starting work the leg pain had gone. He had less leg swelling and more flexibility in the ankle. He felt very relaxed and at peace and much of the anxiety had dissipated too. From my point of view there is still much work to be done to regain optimum health but it was a great start and his body (with some more assistance) can now start its own healing regimes.

Osteopathy is about augmenting and utilising the body's own healing mechanisms by :

  • Improving the blood supplies and drainage
  • Helping the lymph to drain the tissue fluid back towards the heart
  • Improve the nerve supplies
  • Help the body regain its correct function and structure to natural health and well-being.

At its essence it is simple.

The huge skill lies in the Osteopaths understanding, approach and treatment options which are available. Fortunately you do not need to know these!

Just Place your Healing in my Hands - and together we can get Nature to work better for YOU.

To make an appointment to see Gayle Palmer please phone 01243 641665. Thank you.

© Gayle Palmer D.O. Osteopath. Living Elements Clinic 2018

PS - If you know someone else who has the potential for a DVT of has had one - please consider sharing this link with them: http://livingelements.co.uk/dvt-and-osteopathy/

Both my client and I would be delighted if it helps just one more person to a new start for their health!

Want to get in touch?

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