Soothing a clotted leg?
October 25, 2012 7:36 AM   Subscribe

I have a very sore leg from inflammation in surface veins. Went to the doctor last week, and they weren't alarmed but didn't have much to suggest for palliation, either. Do you have any experience soothing superficial thrombophlebitis?

Preface: You're not my doctor (YOU'RE NOT THE DOCTOR OF ME!), and none of this is medical advice.

Background: I saw a doctor a week ago and was diagnosed with superficial thrombophlebitis in one leg, which means inflammation due to blood clots in surface veins. The doctor didn't say much about what to do, though, other than "Yeah, keep taking ibuprofen," and maybe try a compression stocking.

Current coping measures: I'm taking ibuprofen, elevating the leg when possible (though it's not easily done for most of the workday), and strapping a heat compress to my leg all night while sleeping.

Question: In the meantime, it's still quite painful and really affects the mobility around the knee. So I'm wondering, has anyone here had experience with this condition? Are there tactics you used or have seen used to help make it less painful and bothersome?
posted by theatro to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
Best answer: So.. IANAD, but the hot compresses might be exacerbating your problem. What heat does is open up capillaries. This causes more blood to enter the area which would increase the inflammation. Generally heat promotes healthier blood flow to areas that are injured.

The answer might not be cold compresses either. With general injuries, you want to switch them out. cold for 20 minutes, nothing for 20 minutes, hot for 20 minutes, nothing for 20 minutes, repeat. What I can't tell you is if that applies to superficial thrombophlebitis or not.

First thing I would stop doing is using the hot compress "all night". Second thing I would do is call your doctor and ask if you should use hot or cold therapy at all. Third thing I would do is ask for a referral to see a vascular specialist.

Also: do not ignore their advice for the compression stockings. Get some. Your pharmacy should point you in the right direction on where to buy some.
posted by royalsong at 8:33 AM on October 25, 2012

Best answer: Seconding compression stockings. I wear them for chronic venous insufficiency, and while they're a bitch to get on, they really make my legs feel better.
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:52 AM on October 25, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks! The doc mentioned Amazon as a possibility for the stocking, so while I'm figuring out the size and waiting for that to arrive, I'll see if I can get her on the phone.
posted by theatro at 7:36 AM on October 26, 2012

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