In thrombosis, a blood clot forms in a vein that blocks blood flow. This usually manifests as pain and swelling in the affected area, but often the symptoms of thrombosis are not very clear.


It is important to distinguish between the different types of thrombosis that can occur . After all, a blood clot can occur in principle in any blood vessel in the body and even in the heart, with different consequences.

Detect thrombosis in veins or arteries

A blood clot forms in an artery, which is called an arterial thrombosis , which can be one of the common causes of a heart attack or stroke. In venous thrombosis, one distinction is superficial and deep vein thrombosis.

Superficial vein thrombosis is also known as phlebitis ( thrombophlebitis ), often this type of thrombosis results from varicose or varicose veins , and also from an inflammation of the venous catheters. Through the connecting superficial veins, a clot can reach the deep veins.

Frequent thromboses in the legs

The most common type of thrombosis especially occurs in the veins of the legs, although other parts of the body can be affected. Rare is a thrombosis in the arm for example, but it can happen. The symptoms are independent of the affected area.

If the clot in the vessel wall dissolves, it can lead to the risk of a pulmonary embolism. Therefore, it is important to detect the signs of venous thrombosis correctly and see a doctor quickly.

Symptoms are not always clear

In thrombosis, a vein is partially or completely closed by a blood clot. This leads to a more or less pronounced congestion, which can manifest itself with pain, as well as swelling and a sensation of heat in the affected area.

But often this problem lacks the typical signs: Some patients experience only mild pain or discomfort but not very specific or clear. Even the classic ” signs of thrombosis ” such as pain in the calf when supporting the foot or pressure pain in the sole of the foot can only be observed in a subset of cases.

Clear symptoms of thrombosis

  1. Blue discoloration of the skin ( cyanosis ) especially in the affected area, the veins that protrude in the skin may be very bulging and larger than normal,
  2. Sensation of pressure or tension in the vein
  3. Pain when you press the calf with both hands
  4. Fever
  5. Incrise of cardiac frecuency

When to see a doctor

If you notice symptoms that could indicate a thrombosis, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. In particular, after a long journey by car, bus, train or plane, it is important to pay attention to possible signs of thrombosis. After sitting for long periods of time without interruption and without proper exercise, the risk of developing a thrombosis increases .

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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