Perhaps you have heard about it on television, this recent phenomenon of people suffering serious illness, and even death, as a result of blood circulatory problems. In this modern age of travel and jobs that require less physical labor, we are fast becoming a sedentary race, and unfortunately this is causing various health issues like deep vein thrombosis. Fortunately, this is an easily preventable condition that doesn’t take much work.
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition defined by a blood clot, or thrombus, forming in a deep vein. Commonly affecting the leg veins, such as the femoral, popliteal, or the deep veins of the pelvic region, DVT can prove fatal if the clot makes it way into the blood. Clots may become caught in the veins and block circulation, or enter the heart and cause death. Therefore, it is always important to maintain good circulation and keep the blood clear. Consulting a physician or licensed therapist can help determine the best methods for staying healthy.
What causes Deep Vein Thrombosis?
While recent research shows that various factors prove to put a person at risk for DVT, a more common cause for deep vein thrombosis is inactivity. The less you move, the slower your blood circulates, thereby increasing the chances for clots to form. Business travelers, people who spend long hours in cramped airplane seats or in cars, and people confined to wheelchairs are especially at risk if they are unable to regularly circulate the blood in their legs.
Therefore, it is always recommended for people who are confined to desks and chairs to take advantage of quick breaks to get the blood flowing again. Even in an airplane, it is possible to stand up and move slightly around the cabin, if only to stimulate blood flow in the lower half of the body and prevent numbness.
Alternating Pressure and DVT
Ergonomic devices at work and home are always a plus. An alternating pressure cushion, for one, can improve circulation during times of inactivity.
Alternating pressure refers to a device that inflates and deflates in sections. Think of an air mattress or air seat cushion. As one pocket, the air is stagnant and does not move. When you sit on one, it may feel like sitting on an elevated version of the chair. Circulation remains the same.
Alternating pressure, however, works in a cushion devised of two or more air bladders interconnected to alternate inflating and deflating. Some bladders rise while others fall, and vice versa. This constant movement in a cushion lifts and shifts the body in place, so even though one is sitting there is opportunity for better circulation.
Where there is better blood flow, naturally, there is less discomfort. Alternating pressure keeps the blood moving and the skin healthy, allowing it to breathe. When skin breathes, it maintains a healthy color and elasticity. The blood flows and has less opportunity to clot, thereby decreasing risk of DVT.
For the constant traveler and the cubicle worker, an alternating pressure device can be handy in eliminating the risk of blood clots in the legs, and in turn preventing serious conditions.