What is a blood clot?
Blood clots normally form after an injury to protect your body from losing too much blood. But they can also form in an artery or vein even if there is no obvious injury. Complications can occur if it doesn’t dissolve naturally or if you don’t get treatment. The signs and symptoms of a blood clot differ depending on where it is – in the heart, brain, arm, leg, lung, or abdomen. Some of these symptoms are common in other health issues, so always consult with your doctor, and keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for clots to cause no symptoms at all. Here are some silent signs and symptoms of blood clots to watch out for.
People who have experienced a blood clot in the leg say they’ve felt cramps or pain similar to a charley horse. A blood clot that forms in a major vein, often in the lower limbs, is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and it can cause leg aches, pain, and cramping. The clots can develop slowly or appear suddenly, specifically after a prolonged time in a sitting or cramped position, like on a long-distance flight.
“Ignoring a blood clot in the leg for even a day can end up in a pulmonary embolism, which is much more dangerous,” according to internest Dr Kristine Arthur. A pulmonary embolism can occur if a portion of the clot in the legs breaks off and travels to the lungs. About 1 in 3 people with DVT will have a pulmonary embolism, which is a potentially life-threatening medical emergency. (Sitting for a while? You might want to give compression socks a go.)
Back pain might not seem like one of the likely blood clot symptoms, but it can be an indication that a blood clot is present in the pelvic area or in the inferior vena cava, which is the major abdominal vein. According to the American College of Cardiology, 2.6 to 4 per cent of people with DVT have inferior vena cava thrombosis. Although blood clot-related back pain seems to be one of the more rare symptoms, these types of clots can result in permanent damage if not treated, as they cut off blood to the extremities. If you experience this along with other blood clot symptoms, contact your doctor. Although blood clots can cause back pain, the most common causes of low back pain aren’t typically blood clots.