In some cases, a blood clot due to inflammation can block veins in the legs and create serious health complications. This condition is referred to as Thrombophlebitis. It can happen close to the skin surface and this is rather easy to treat with proper medication. On the other hand, the ones that happen deep inside the muscle are difficult to treat and it may even require surgery. It is common to notice symptoms like pain and swelling in the affected region. It can usually happen when blood flow to the region is affected due to any medical condition. Along with that, old age and having a family history of this condition also plays a major role in the occurrence of this disease.

Types of Thrombophlebitis

-  Superficial Thrombophlebitis : This is the common type of blood clot that usually happens on the skin surface region. It is not dangerous as it does not get into the bloodstream. However, even this needs proper treatment as it can become painful and cause other complications.

-  Deep Vein Thrombophlebitis : When blood clot happens deep inside, it results in this condition. It is common in the lower region of the legs even though it can occur anywhere else in the body. The dangerous thing about this type is that is that it often gets loose and gets into the bloodstream from where it can reach different regions. In this way, it can cause a lot of damage when it reaches the lungs region and even lead to fatal consequences. In the same manner, when it gets into the artery region, it can affect the flow of blood to vital organs like the heart and result in severe complications. In extreme cases, it can lead to fatal incidents.

-  Migratory Thrombophlebitis : In this type, the blood clot often does not stay in one position and moves to different regions. In usual cases, it can move from one leg to another and cause severe pain. You should never neglect this symptom as it can be due to pancreas cancer. In some cases, even lung cancer can give such symptoms in many patients.

Symptoms of Thrombophlebitis

- The most obvious symptom you will notice when you are suffering from this condition is the swelling in certain areas. It is predominant in the leg region and you can easily see the area getting red in colour due to this problem.

- Apart from that, you will also feel that the affected area is very tender to touch and you will also feel severe pain when you apply pressure on this spot. This should be a clear indication that blood flow is not normal in that region and if the condition persists for more than few days, you need to visit your doctor for a thorough medical examination.

- In some cases, you can even notice swelling in the veins and this can be felt and seen easily in the leg region.

- You may also experience pain when you are flexing your legs and this usually affects the lower region of the legs. In other cases, it can even affect the thigh region and you may feel uncomfortable while stretching your legs.

- While some people experience swelling in the foot, others notice a change in temperature and it may feel cold and numb in many cases.

- All these symptoms are visible and you can even feel the pain in most cases. However, in some cases, there may be very less visible symptoms when it has affected the inner layers of the muscles. In this situation, only a proper diagnosis will reveal the condition in your body.

Causes of Thrombophlebitis

The primary cause of Thrombophlebitis is the clotting of blood in the veins. When this happens inside deep veins, it can create various complications in the body. This usually happens when there is an injury to the vein and it cannot allow the flow of blood in a normal way. In the same way, when you sit for long hours in the same position, it restricts the flow of blood to various regions of the body. This can form clots and you will notice swelling and pain in many cases. Other than that, having a family history of such conditions will increase your chances of getting this condition in future.

Diagnosis of Thrombophlebitis

-  Physical examination : The diagnosis of this condition will begin with the physical examination of the affected area. In most cases, doctors will be able to notice some difference in the affected area and they will suggest further tests based on the symptoms on your skin surface.

-  Ultrasound test : In some cases, the clots may be deep veins and this can be determined by using the ultrasound test. This can even detect clots in the legs and it will give a clear picture of the different blocked veins in the body.

-  Blood test : In this test, the presence of D dimer that handles the blood clotting in the body is measured. This will give a clear idea about the nature of blood clot in the body and doctors can prepare for further treatment based on the results of this test.

Prevention of Thrombophlebitis

- You can try to prevent blood clot by maintaining an active lifestyle. Remember that sitting in one position for long hours will mean that blood circulation can get reduced to certain parts of the body. This can lead to developing blood clots in the future.

- When you have to sit for long hours at the office or while travelling, you can take a break every hour and walk for a couple of minutes. This will improve the blood circulation especially to the legs and you will reduce the chances of getting this condition later in life.

- Apart from that, it also makes sense to reduce excess weight as this can put unnecessary pressure on the nerves and they have to work harder to deliver blood to the entire body. This will also put more pressure on your legs due to the additional weight of the body.

- Always make it a point to wear comfortable clothing that is not too tight. Remember that tight clothing when worn for long hours will reduce blood supply to the legs and this can create a lot of complications and even cause blood clots in certain areas.

- In some cases, some patients have to take IV for a long duration and this may also be needed regularly to treat some medical conditions. In this situation, there are chances that it can lead to Thrombophlebitis in the region where IV is regularly given to the body. The best way to avoid this condition is to change the place where you take IV and this will give time for the body to heal the wounds in a natural way. There will be no pressure on one area and you can distribute it to different regions.

- In the same manner, it is also noticed that women are prone to getting this condition when they use certain birth control pills. You can discuss your issues with your doctor and get the suitable medication to avoid such problems in the long run. Remember that you can choose another form of birth control when taking pills leads to this condition.

- In this manner, you can easily prevent superficial thrombophlebitis to a large extent. However, when this condition happens deep inside the muscles, you will have fewer chances of preventing them especially when they are caused due to other medical conditions.

Treatment for Thrombophlebitis

-  Using blood thinners : This is the first step of treatment as it will help to prevent further blood clots in the body. However, this is a temporary solution and it will be enough to handle small clots in the body. It will not allow the clots to enlarge. However, it cannot melt an existing clot in the body.

-  Using clot dissolvers : In order to dissolve the clots, you need to take some medication and this will help you to avoid further complications. Depending on the intensity of clots in the body, you will be given appropriate doses of clot-dissolving medications.

-  Using compression stockings : this can also prevent swelling and reduce the pain to a large extent in the body. Apart from that, you will also be able to avoid certain complications and this will give time to provide other treatment that can provide long-term relief.

Complications of Thrombophlebitis

- In most cases, you may not notice severe complications with superficial blood clots as they usually happen on the skin surface. This is easy to detect and the symptoms will be obvious in most cases. When you get timely treatment, there are no major issues and this can be cured within a few months. However, when a blood clot happens in deep veins, it can be very problematic.

- You need to remember that deep vein blood clots can sometimes clog and begin to move around the body. This can easily get into the vital organs and cause a lot of damage to them as they affect their normal functioning and it can even reduce blood supply to those organs.

- In some cases, this can get into the lungs and restrict the flow of blood to this region. In this manner, there will be various symptoms like shortness of breath and this can hamper the normal functioning of the other related organs in the body.

- In the same manner, when this clot happens in the arteries, it can put a lot of pressure on the heart and cause an abnormal heartbeat and other issues. The effectiveness of the heart with regards to pumping blood reduces by a huge margin as there will be pressure on the arteries and this will affect the entire body. In extreme cases, it can even cause death due to heart failure.

- The most common complication you can notice out of this condition is that the legs become very weak when it is not getting sufficient blood supply. You need to take this condition seriously especially in old age as this means that you will not be able to perform your everyday tasks with ease and this also causes a lot of pain in the legs.

Myths about Thrombophlebitis

Myth #1: Sitting for long hours cannot cause DVT :

Many people believe that they can get deep vein blood clots only when they sit for long hours on a regular basis. However, the fact is that you can even get them in one day when you are sitting in a congested position for more than few hours. This happens especially when you are travelling for long distance and the best way to avoid this condition is to walk every now and then so that the blood supply will be restored to the legs.

Myth #2: DVT is not a very serious condition :

You should never neglect the symptoms and take this situation lightly as it can even lead to death when the clot gets into the lungs. In other cases, this can even affect the normal functioning of the heart and cause severe complications.

Myth #3: Thrombophlebitis always shows symptoms :

It is true that superficial thrombophlebitis shows obvious symptoms and you will be able to notice them on the skin surface. However, other types of blood clots may not show obvious symptoms in many cases. For this reason, you should approach your doctor whenever there is some difference in size between your legs as it can be due to some inner blood clot.

Myth #4: Blood thinners can cure DVT :

While using such medication can help you to avoid further clots in the body, they are not effective when it comes to breaking down the existing blood clots in the body. For this reason, you should always choose appropriate treatment and follow the instructions of your doctor when you are suffering from this condition.


In this way, you need to be watchful about the symptoms of this condition as it can create complications in some cases when it happens in deep veins in the body. However, you will be able to recover within a few months with proper treatment in most cases. Always make sure that you keep moving as sitting for long hours in one position can lead to this condition in many cases.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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