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Peripheral Artery Disease of the Legs

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a circulatory condition. Peripheral arterial disease is another name for PAD. Arterial means relating to an artery or arteries. Arteries carry oxygenated blood to the body’s tissues. Peripheral means it affects the arteries outside the aorta, most commonly the vessels supplying the legs. However, it can also involve arteries that supply the arms, abdomen, kidneys, and other vital organs. Peripheral artery disease causes narrowing or blockages in the peripheral arteries.

Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of PAD. Atherosclerosis is a buildup of plaque on the walls of the arteries. Plaque is a waxy material containing cholesterol and other substances. As it grows on the artery walls, it stiffens the artery and narrows the passage through the artery. This limits blood flow. Without adequate blood flow, tissues can’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need. Atherosclerosis is also the cause of coronary artery disease (CAD), which affects even smaller arteries supplying the heart muscle.

PAD is a fairly common problem. More than 8 million Americans over age 40 have the disease, but many don’t know it. That’s because the disease is often mild, causing few or no symptoms in the beginning. As the disease progresses, the tissues struggle to work without enough oxygenated blood. This causes symptoms, including claudication—pain or burning in the calf, thigh, hip or buttock with walking. Other lower limb symptoms can include weakness, coolness, cramping and sores that don’t heal.

Like CAD, lifestyle factors play a role in the development of PAD, which affects men and women equally. Smoking and having diabetes are major risk factors for PAD.

Peripheral artery disease treatment focuses on managing symptoms and preventing atherosclerosis from getting worse. Early on, lifestyle changes may be all that is necessary to reach these goals. As the disease progresses, it may require medications to relieve symptoms and prevent complications. In some cases, doctors may recommend surgery.

If you have PAD, it’s important to follow all of your doctor’s recommendations. Without proper treatment, PAD can have limb- or life-threatening consequences. This includes limb ischemia leading to gangrene and heart attack or stroke. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for potentially serious symptoms, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, a cold limb, or sudden paralysis, difficulty speaking, or one-sided face drooping.

Leg Cramp or Something More?

A lot of people try to balance the question of their health with the following question: is this serious enough to contact the doctor? Sometimes, you’re not sure if you need to worry about certain symptoms, especially if all you really need is a bit of rest or hydration.

Leg cramps can be extremely painful, but most of the time, they do not need more medical care than you can give yourself at home. However, sometimes leg pain can indicate the need for intervention.

Causes of Sudden Leg Pain

Most of the time, the feeling of intense pain in your legs is from muscle cramps or spasms. People often refer to these cramps as charley horses. The muscle contracts and often may not release for several seconds. During the contraction, the pain may escalate or intensify. Charley horses have a number of causes, but the most common reasons for the cramps include:

  • Dehydration. When your body is low on fluids, you have a harder time maintaining equilibrium of necessary electrolytes in the blood, especially potassium. Your muscles can spasm as a result. Diuretics like caffeine can make muscle spasms worse.
  • Depleted minerals. You might lose potassium, sodium, and magnesium through poor diet choices or through intense physical exertion. Your nerves that signal the muscles to contract depend on these minerals to properly communicate.
  • Overuse. Sometimes, your muscles can respond poorly to bad exercise techniques, such as overuse or not properly warming up or cooling down after a workout.
  • Reduced blood flow. If you lie still in bed or if you hold your leg at an awkward angle for a long period of time, your muscle might cramp because of low blood flow to the muscle itself.

Usually, a charley horse will pass on its own. You can prevent them by staying hydrated and by making sure you treat your muscles kindly. Stretch after working out, and don’t spend too long sitting in one position.

Sometimes, however, sudden leg pain is not from a charley horse like you might think. A similar sensation of cramping can occur when you have a blood clot in your leg. This condition is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and it does require medical treatment.

Troubling Symptoms

The symptoms of DVT are similar to those of a charley horse at first. The pain can be quite sudden, and your muscle might feel tight. You might even have a period of several seconds where the pain is severe before it subsides. However, some additional symptoms can develop that should prompt you to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. These include:

  • Redness. A blood clot in your leg can cause inflammation to show on the skin.
  • Swelling. Because clots can cause a block in a major blood vessel in the leg, you can have some swelling as blood flow becomes restricted. The leg may also feel warm to the touch.
  • Lingering pain. After the initial pain subsides, you will still have pain in your leg, especially with pressure or as you walk. The pain will not usually resolve on its own and may feel like a deep muscle ache.

If you notice these symptoms, go to your nearest urgent care. They can usually diagnose a DVT with a simple ultrasound and give you medications to help resolve the blockage. DVT is dangerous because if more clots form or if the clot moves from your leg, it could cause a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or a stroke.

Urgent or Emergency Care Responses

Sometimes, you should go to the hospital for blood clots and even leg cramps. If you experience any of the above troubling symptoms, this is often a medical emergency and you should go to the nearest hospital or urgent care center immediately. Stellis Health Urgent Care is available Monday to Thursday from noon to 8pm, Friday from noon to 5pm and weekends and most holidays from 8am to 4 pm.

DVT vs Leg Cramp: What’s the Difference?

Leg cramps can occur for lots of reasons – overexertion or repetitive use, pulled or strained muscles, dehydration, for instance, all of which are relatively benign and easily treated. But sometimes, that aching pain can be a sign of one of the most serious vein problems – DVT or deep vein thrombosis.

When it comes to leg pain causes, DVT may not be as common as, say, overexertion; but unless it’s promptly and properly treated, the effects of DVT can be deadly. In fact, the CDC says as many as 60,000 to 100,000 people die each year in the U.S. as a result of DVT.

What is DVT?

A thrombosis is a clot, and deep vein thrombosis refers to clots that form deep inside your veins – usually your leg veins. In place, clots can cause pain and other symptoms; but if they break free, they can travel through your bloodstream to your lungs, where they can block critical blood flow and even cause death.

DVT Symptoms

So how can you tell if your leg pain is due to DVT or another cause? You can start by knowing the symptoms:

  • Swelling is the most common symptom, and in a DVT, swelling typically occurs only in the affected leg. Also, while swelling due to fluid retention and some other causes may resolve after a period of elevation, in DVT, swelling usually remains even after the leg has been elevated for several hours.
  • Redness and tenderness in the area of swelling is another common symptom of DVT.
  • Symptoms of DVT tend to become worse over time, while symptoms associated with muscle strain usually resolve as time goes by.
  • For calf pain, DVT usually causes pain in the back of the calf, while an injured muscle typically causes discomfort in the side of the calf.

Unfortunately, only about half of all people who have a DVT exhibit noticeable symptoms, which can make the condition very difficult to diagnose without a doctor’s aid.

DVT Risk Factors

Anyone can develop DVT, but some factors can put you at greater risk, including:

  • Having had surgery recently
  • Having been inactive for a period of time, such as when recovering from an illness or surgery
  • Taking birth control pills or hormone replacement medications

A family history of DVT could also increase your own chance for developing the condition.

Staying Mobile

One of the best ways to reduce your risks for DVT and to improve your overall vein health is to be active. Walking causes the leg muscles to contract, and those contractions help keep blood flowing. When blood is moving normally, it’s less likely to form clots. On the other hand, when we’re inactive or lead very sedentary lifestyles, blood flow can become sluggish, making it easier for clots to form. Another important step: Make sure to have routine vein evaluations to help “catch” vein problems in their earliest stages. An experienced vascular surgeon will be able to suggest vein treatment options, including minimally-invasive treatments, based on your needs so you can feel confident in your results.

If you’ve experienced leg pain, swelling, varicose veins or other symptoms of vein problems, don’t delay getting care. Call Vein & Vascular Institute at 856-344-3111 and schedule a vein evaluation today.

Posted in: Vein Treatment

Leg Cramps During Pregnancy | Frankel Cardiovascular Center

Topic Overview

Leg cramps affect almost half of all pregnant women.footnote 1 The cause of leg cramps during pregnancy is not fully known, but they may be caused by reduced levels of calcium or increased levels of phosphorus in the blood. Leg cramps are more common in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and happen most often at night.

There is no proof that increasing your intake of calcium or potassium will prevent leg cramps.footnote 1

If you get a leg cramp:

  • Straighten your leg.
  • Flex your foot so that your ankle and toes point up (toward your head).
  • Massage your calf.
  • Walk around to stretch your calf.
  • Avoid pointing your toes when you stretch your legs.

Although uncommon, a blood clot can form in a deep vein of the leg (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) during pregnancy. DVT can be life-threatening and requires medical treatment.

Symptoms of DVT include severe leg pain or tenderness (not cramps), swelling of the leg and foot, and fever. The leg may have a bluish (cyanotic) or pale color and may be either hot or cold to the touch. If any leg pain persists (especially with leg swelling), contact your doctor immediately.



  1. Katz VL (2008). Prenatal care. In RS Gibbs et al., eds., Danforth’s Obstetrics and Gynecology, 10th ed., pp. 1–21. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.


Current as of: October 8, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall MD – Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD – Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as of: October 8, 2020

Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD – Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones MD – Obstetrics and Gynecology

Katz VL (2008). Prenatal care. In RS Gibbs et al., eds., Danforth’s Obstetrics and Gynecology, 10th ed., pp. 1-21. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Difference Between Blood Clot and Leg Cramp

What is Blood clot?

What is the definition of Blood clot?

A blood clot is also known as a thrombus and describes a clump of blood cells, platelets, and fibrin that forms to stop blood flow. Blood clots stop people bleeding to death but can be a problem if they form in the wrong place.

Symptoms of Blood clot:

Symptoms only present if the clot is formed in the wrong place, in which case the symptoms will depend on where the clot is. If it is a clot in a coronary artery that is found on the heart then you will likely experience chest pain, dizziness, and shortness of breath. A blood clot in the brain causes a stroke with symptoms such as a sudden headache, weakness and drooping on one side of the body. You may also have difficulty in vision or speech. A clot in a deep leg vein is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and can include symptoms of leg pain and swelling.

How do you Diagnose Blood clot?

Diagnosis can be made based on CT scans or MRI scans. An angiogram can also be done to check blood flow to the heart and brain.

Causes of Blood clot:

Clots in arteries can occur when the inner lining of the blood vessel is damaged. This can be associated with plaque buildup over time and when a piece of plaque breaks off it can cause a blood clot to form. A DVT can be due to injury, limited movement, and medical conditions. Various conditions can cause blood clots including blood clotting conditions such as factor V Leiden and antiphospholipid syndrome. Other conditions that cause clots include atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, and heart problems.

Risk factors involved in Blood clot:

Risk factors for blood clots include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, being obese, having diabetes and smoking. Risk factors for a DVT include limited movement, surgery, pregnancy, birth control pills, having blood clotting disorders, heart failure and being overweight.

What are the treatments for Blood clot?

Blood clots in the heart and brain need to be treated to avoid heart attack and stroke. DVT can result in a deadly blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolus), thus DVT needs to be treated. Medication known as thrombolytic agents can be given for removing clots.  Anticoagulants such as heparin can be given to prevent future clots from forming. In extreme cases, surgery may be needed.


What is Leg cramp?

What is a definition for Leg Cramps?

A leg cramp is a severe pain in the leg that is usually caused by an involuntary spasm of the leg muscle or muscles.

What are the signs and symptoms of  Leg Cramps?

Symptoms include severe pain where the muscle is in spasm. They often occur in the calf muscles but can occur also in the thigh muscles and may last for seconds or minutes, during which time you may also feel or see a hard lump.


A doctor performs a physical exam and can do blood tests to check electrolyte levels in the blood.

Possible Causes:

There are several potential causes of leg cramp including blood vessel problems such as deep vein thrombosis. Often if it is a muscle spasm it can be because of dehydration in which your electrolytes are imbalanced. Electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium are important for normal muscle function. Over-exercise can also lead to muscle strain. In older people compression of the spine can lead to pain traveling into the legs.

Risk factors involved in Leg Cramps:

Dehydration is a significant risk factor for muscle cramps. Muscle cramps are also more common in pregnant women, in older people and if you have certain medical conditions such as diabetes or thyroid or liver problems.

What are the treatments for Leg Cramps?

Treatment method depends on the cause, if it is DVT, and then medication may be needed. Leg cramps can usually be treated using hot and cold compresses, massaging the leg, and taking in electrolytes.


Difference between Blood clot and Leg cramp?

  1. Definition

A blood clot is a clump of blood cells, platelets and fibrin while a leg cramp is a painful muscle spasm.

  1. Symptoms

Symptoms depend where the clot is found and may include chest pain, headache, shortness of breath and leg pain. Symptoms of a leg cramp include leg pain, swelling and a hard lump.

  1. Diagnosis

A blood clot can be diagnosed with an MRI, CT scan or angiogram. A leg cramp can be diagnosed by a physical exam and blood tests.

  1. Causes

Blood clots can be caused by plaque breaking off in blood vessels, having conditions like factor V Leiden, antiphospholipid syndrome, atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, and heart problems, also being immobile or having surgery, being pregnant or on birth control pills. Leg cramps can be caused by DVT, over exercise, electrolyte imbalances or spinal compression.

  1. Risk factors

Risk factors for blood clots include having high blood pressure or cholesterol, being obese, having diabetes and smoking, having limited movement, surgery, pregnancy, birth control pills, having blood clotting disorders, or heart failure. Risk factors for leg cramps include dehydration, pregnancy, being older, having thyroid or liver problems or diabetes.

  1. Treatment

Blood clots can be treated with thrombolytics, anticoagulants or surgery, while leg cramps can be treated with hot and cold compresses, massaging the leg, taking in electrolytes and taking in medication.

Table comparing Blood clot and Leg cramp


Summary of  Blood clot Vs. Leg cramp

  • A blood clot is a clump of blood cells, platelets and fibrin while a leg cramp is a severe pain in the leg often caused by a muscle spasm.
  • There are several causes of blood clots and leg cramps.
  • Risk factors for blood clots can include high blood pressure and cholesterol while risk factors for leg cramps include being dehydrated or having certain illnesses such as diabetes.

Associate Professor of Biology PhD in Quantitative Biology at in United States

Dr. Rae Osborn was educated in South Africa and the United States. She holds Honors Bachelor of Science degrees in Zoology and Entomology, and Masters of Science in Entomology from the University of Natal in South Africa. She has received a PhD in Quantitative Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington as well as an AAS Degree in Information Network Specialist and an AAS in Computer Information Systems, at Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana.Her skills lie in research and writing for a range of educational levels and teaching various Biology classes. She has been trained as a lecturer, researcher and computer scientist. She has experience as a writer, researcher and as a college teacher, and is currently working as a freelance writer and editor. Her accomplishments include receiving tenure and being promoted to Associate Professor of Biology in the United States and publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals.Her hometown is Pietermaritzburg in South Africa where her main interest and hobby is bird watching.

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Osborn, D. (2018, August 14). Difference Between Blood Clot and Leg Cramp. Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects. http://www.differencebetween.net/science/health/difference-between-blood-clot-and-leg-cramp/.

Osborn, Dr. Rae. “Difference Between Blood Clot and Leg Cramp.” Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects, 14 August, 2018, http://www.differencebetween.net/science/health/difference-between-blood-clot-and-leg-cramp/.

Leg Cramp? How to Recognize Blood Clot Symptoms

You might not spend much time thinking about blood clot symptoms. But since an average of 274 people in the U.S. die from clots every day, it’s a good idea to know the signs, and what to do if you encounter them.

What Causes a Blood Clot to Form?

Blood clots form when blood thickens into a semi-solid material. They occur naturally as part of your body’s healing process when you get injured. They stop you from bleeding to death, which is awesome.

But clots can also form inside major blood vessels, and that can be a big problem. A clot that grows in a large vein is called a deep vein thrombosis. If it stays in one place, it may not cause you any harm. But if it gets dislodged and flows through the vein to your lungs, it’s then called a pulmonary embolism, which can be life-threatening.

So what causes these dangerous clots? Here are some of the risk factors:

  • Regularly sitting or standing too long in one position for many hours

  • Traveling by car or plane — long hours sitting still can be deadly

  • Other extended times without much movement, such as a hospital stay

  • Being overweight, which puts pressure on your veins

  • Family history of harmful clots or genetically inheriting a blood clotting disorder

  • Taking birth control pills or using hormone replacement therapies

  • Pregnancy, which increases pressure in the pelvis and legs

  • Physical trauma like an assault or a car accident, or even surgery

  • Smoking, which affects circulation and clotting

  • Age — risk goes up as we age, especially after 60

  • Cancer — some types of cancer, as well as some cancer treatments, can potentially increase blood clots

This list is not comprehensive, and roughly 30% of cases are “unprovoked” or occurring without any known risk factors involved.

Blood Clot Symptoms (And What To Do About Them)

So now that you know some of the possible causes, let’s talk about what to look for, so you can avoid being one of the 30-40% of cases that go unnoticed.

Common symptoms of leg blood clots include:

You may have experienced a Charley horse after playing basketball with your buddies, or maybe you noticed some swelling after sitting all day at your desk. Don’t discount the possibility that you may have developed a clot in your leg.

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. They can run a variety of tests to determine if you have a clot and what type it might be.

A simple blood test can rule out clots, or an ultrasound can provide a picture of what is going on in your veins. Other tests, such as a CT scan, MRA, or V/Q scan, may be used as well.

If a clot shows up in your test results, your doctor may prescribe blood thinners (anticoagulants) to prevent further clots from forming. You may also need to wear compression socks that fit tightly over your legs to reduce swelling. Surgery can also be required in some cases.

If a clot goes unnoticed, it can move toward your lungs, heart, or brain and cause severe damage. Signs of clots in these areas include:

  • Lungs – chest pain, difficulty breathing, and in some cases coughing up blood

  • Heart – intense chest pain, left arm pain, shortness of breath, and sudden sweating

  • Brain (stroke) – various symptoms including seizures or losing the ability to move or speak (depends on the part of the brain affected)

These are serious medical conditions that can have a major impact on your life (if you survive), so let’s look at some ways to lower your risk.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Blood Clots

1. First, avoid sitting or standing for long periods in one position. Switch between sitting and standing throughout the day, and change your posture any time you start to feel uncomfortable. If you have the urge to move, do it!

2. Build movement into your day. When you work in an office, it can be hard to break away from your tasks and get up to move, but it’s vital to your health that you do. Exercise regularly, especially if you do sit or stand for long periods for work or travel.

3. When traveling by car, make frequent stops to get out and walk. When traveling by plane, walk the terminals or the cabin. And while you’re sitting, move your feet around every 20 or 30 minutes, to keep your blood circulating.

4. Avoid crossing your legs when sitting. When standing, use an anti-fatigue mat to take pressure off your leg muscles and veins.

5. If you have surgery or you’re on bed rest, talk to your doctor about moving your legs or feet regularly to help your circulation. And get out of bed and start moving again as soon as possible.

6. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, to help prevent muscle tension and blood vessel constriction. Plus, you’ll have to go to the bathroom more, which means you’ll be moving more!

7. If you smoke, look into support programs to help you quit. You’ll not only reduce your risk of blood clots — you’ll save a ton of money and boost your health in lots of other ways.

8. Keep any medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes under control.

Be sure to keep a lookout for symptoms of a blood clot, especially if you have any of the common risk factors listed above. Don’t discount them — when you get a Charley horse, it might be more than a cramped muscle!

If you develop chest pain or shortness of breath, get medical help immediately. In the meantime, making changes to your habits now is the best prevention — keep your body moving and your blood pumping!

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Is It A Charley Horse Or A Blood Clot?

We’ve all felt it – that teeth-grinding muscle spasm in the arch of the foot, the back of the calf, or the back of the thigh (hamstrings). When do you know if that Charlie Horse is more than a muscle cramp? What if you get them often? How can you tell the difference between a Charlie Horse and a possible blot clot?

Charlie Horse vs. Blood Clot

A Charlie Horse is a nickname for a muscle spasm or cramp. This cramping or contraction of a muscle or group of muscles can be incredibly painful. Depending on the duration of a Charlie Horse, pain can be quite severe and soreness may exists for hours or even up to a day afterward.

A blood clot is known as a thrombus. Blood clots usually form over an injury to a blood vessel. Any time a blood vessel is injured, the body sends a signal to the brain. The brain then signals a rush of blood platelets and clotting factors to the area. Platelets are sticky blood cells that clump together to bind to the wall of the vessel to stop bleeding or leaking from a tear or injury to the wall of a blood vessel.

So which is it? A blood clot or a Charlie Horse?

Charlie Horses are caused by a number of situations, such as:

  • A muscle injury
  • Inadequate blood flow (blood transports oxygen – lack of blood flow decreases oxygen to the body’s cells in the affected area)
  • Exercising in very hot or very cold weather
  • Muscle strain or overuse
  • Dehydration

Several of the above situations that trigger a Charlie Horse may also increase risk of blood clot development, especially dehydration and inadequate blood flow, such as remaining sedentary for long periods of time. Dehydration causes blood to thicken and blood flow to decrease, causing it to grow sluggish as it moves through the blood vessels. When blood flow slows down, an increased risk of blood particles sticking together to form clots occurs.

Experiencing a Charlie Horse once in a while is not usually a cause for concern. In many cases, they respond almost immediately to massage, stretching, or ‘walking it off’. However, if you experience a Charlie Horse more than once a week, it’s recommended to schedule a visit with your physician to determine the underlying cause.

90,000 Doctor spoke about early symptoms of thrombosis

It is very important to recognize a thrombosis in oneself, since a sudden blockage of a vessel by a clot threatens with great problems, up to and including death.

A thrombus is a blood clot that forms in a vessel. The formation of a blood clot leads to impaired blood circulation in the organ that feeds this vessel.

According to the doctor of medical sciences, cardiovascular surgeon of the highest category Roman Bredikhin , it is not always easy to recognize the signs of thrombosis.But this must be done. If a blood clot forms in the vessels supplying the brain, a person can be paralyzed, his speech will be impaired, and there are signs of a stroke. The formation of a blood clot in the heart threatens a person with a heart attack, his signal is severe chest pain.

Reduces legs

If you have frequent leg cramps, then this is a reason to seek medical attention from your doctor. Many patients with a blood clot in the lower extremities have complained of prolonged leg cramps before the attack.

Numbness is a dangerous symptom

If you are familiar with the tingling sensation of hundreds of needles digging into an arm or leg, then this is a signal. If the symptom overtakes you often, and especially the tingling sensation is especially felt in only one hand or leg, go to the appointment. Because this kind of numbness is one of the classic symptoms of a blood clot.

Change in skin temperature

Three thrombosis disrupts blood flow.At the site of the blood clot, the skin becomes colder or warmer.

Back pain

A blood clot can form in the pelvis or one of the abdominal veins. It often manifests itself through back pain.

Heavy sweating

If you notice the symptoms that we talked about above, then excessive sweating suggests that a blood clot may form in the area of ​​the heart or lungs.

Shortness of breath

Do you often choke when walking? If you are not tormented by excess weight and moderate physical activity and, at the same time, shortness of breath is your companion, this may indicate a blood clot that forms in the lungs.

If you notice any of these symptoms, see your doctor. Disease is generally easier to prevent than to cure. All the more so.


A blood clot is a network of fibrin fibers running in all directions and capturing blood cells, platelets and plasma.A leg cramp is a sudden, painful contraction of a muscle, usually in the calf

Key difference – leg cramps against a blood clot

Blood A clot is a network of fibrin fibers running in all directions and invading blood cells, platelets and plasma. A leg cramp is a sudden, painful contraction of a muscle, usually in the calf muscle, that gradually disappears over a few minutes. This is the key difference between leg cramps and blood clots.Although a blood clot can cause leg cramps, they are often caused by other minor physiological abnormalities.

1. Overview and main differences
2. What is a blood clot
3. What is leg cramps
4. Side by side comparison – leg cramps versus a blood clot in tabular form
5. Summary

What is a blood clot?

A blood clot is a network of fibrin fibers moving in all directions and capturing blood cells, platelets and plasma.In medical jargon, a blood clot is also known as thrombus or embolus .

This is actually a defense mechanism used by the body to prevent blood loss when a blood vessel ruptures or if the blood itself is damaged by certain harmful agents.

When a blood vessel is damaged, a pathway called the outer pathway is activated, and when the blood is damaged, the inner pathway is activated. Both of these pathways are cascades of chemicals that ultimately form the prothrombin activator.

The prothrombin activator converts fibrinogen to fibrin in several steps.

Under normal conditions, blood clots do not form in the circulatory system due to the presence of several opposing mechanisms specifically aimed at preventing unnecessary blood clotting.

Mechanisms for preventing unnecessary blood clotting

  1. Endothelial surface factors

The smoothness of the endothelial surface helps prevent contact activation of the internal pathway.The endothelium has a layer of glycocalyx that repels clotting factors and platelets, thereby preventing clotting. The presence of thrombomodulin, a chemical found in the endothelium, helps counteract the mechanism of blood clotting. Thrombomodulin binds to thrombin and stops fibrinogen activation.

  1. Antithrombin action of fibrin and antithrombin iii
  2. Action of heparin
  3. Lysis of blood clots with plasminogen

Despite these countermeasures, blood clots are excessively formed inside the vessels.When such a clot gets stuck in the blood vessels of the lower limb, it disrupts the blood supply to the muscles in that particular area. This leads to the accumulation of metabolic products, and the lack of oxygen causes ischemia. These events stimulate the nociceptors, causing severe leg pain that is perceived by the patient as a cramp.

In addition to pain, there may be other symptoms such as swelling and tenderness in the lower leg, indicating the presence of a blood clot blocking a blood vessel.

What is leg cramps?

As mentioned at the beginning, leg cramps are sudden contractions of the muscles of the lower extremities, causing severe pain that gradually disappears over several minutes.

Causes of leg cramps

  • Excessive muscle tension
  • Hyperthermia
  • Pregnancy
  • Ionic imbalance – especially a decrease in the amount of potassium and calcium in the blood.
  • Peripheral artery disease and deep vein thrombosis
  • Certain drugs, such as furosemide, are also known to cause leg cramps as a side effect.
  • Less common in conditions such as Addison’s disease, hypothyroidism, and type II diabetes.

How to prevent seizures?

  • When you have a contraction, stretch your muscles as much as possible.
  • If you are an athlete, drink plenty of water and do not skip a workout.
  • As with most other illnesses, proper nutrition is key in preventing recurrence of seizures. A healthy, balanced diet will help you maintain proper levels of calcium and potassium in your body.
  • Pain relievers can be used to relieve pain.
  • Repetition of seizures is a bad sign. See your doctor to rule out the possibility of any serious pathology.

What is the difference between leg cramps and a blood clot?

Leg cramps against a thrombus

A blood clot is a network of fibrin fibers moving in all directions and invading blood cells, platelets and plasma. A leg cramp is a sudden, painful muscle contraction, usually in the calf muscle, that gradually disappears over a few minutes.
Blood clots can cause leg cramps. Leg cramps can also be caused by many other conditions.

Summary – Leg cramps versus blood clot

Leg cramps are most often caused by benign causes. However, it is important to know the difference between leg cramps and blood clots, as leg cramps caused by a blood clot can lead to serious illness.If leg cramps begin to recur more often and the pain intensifies along with the appearance of other symptoms, it is best to see a doctor to rule out the possibility of a blood clot or other serious illness.

Download PDF Version of Leg Cramps Against Thrombus

You can download the PDF version of this article and use it offline according to the citation notes. Please download the PDF version here. Difference between leg cramps and blood clots.

90,000 Treating high blood pressure in people with peripheral arterial disease

When blood pressure is consistently high, it can lead to complications such as heart attack (myocardial infarction) or stroke.Both peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – a condition that affects the blood vessels (arteries) that carry blood to the legs, arms, and abdomen – and high blood pressure (hypertension) are associated with atherosclerosis. This is the formation of sclerotic plaques on the walls of blood vessels, which is caused by deposits of fat, cholesterol and other substances inside the blood vessels. PAD is diagnosed when blood flow to the legs is difficult, causing pain and cramps that limit walking (intermittent claudication).This is measured by the pain-free walking distance (on a treadmill) before the onset of pain (lameness distance) or the ankle-brachial index (ABI), the ratio of blood pressure in the arms to blood pressure in the legs. If the blood pressure in the legs is lower than the pressure in the arms (LBI less than 1.0), it indicates blockage of the arteries in the legs (or PAD). PAD can lead to resting pain and critical limb ischemia (sudden lack of blood flow to the limbs caused by blood clots or fatty deposits) that require revascularization (restoring blood flow by opening a blocked blood vessel) or amputation.Treatment of hypertension to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular attacks (heart attack or stroke) and death requires careful consideration in people with PAD. Antihypertensive medications can worsen the symptoms of PAD by further reducing blood flow and oxygen supply to the extremities, and may have a long-term effect on the progression of the disease. There is no evidence from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) examining the risks and benefits of various antihypertensive drugs for PAD scores.

We found eight RCTs, involving a total of 3610 people with symptomatic PAD, in which participants were randomly separated and received antihypertensive treatment for at least one month, took placebo, or received no treatment. Four studies compared antihypertensive treatment with placebo and four studies compared two antihypertensive treatments with each other. These studies were not pooled due to differences in comparisons and reported outcomes.One study with 1,725 ​​participants found that ramipril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, was effective in reducing cardiovascular events by 28% compared to placebo. In another study using an ACE inhibitor (n = 52), a slight increase in painless walking distance was shown in the perindopril group, but there was no change in PBI and a decrease in maximum walking distance (MVD) was shown. In patients undergoing peripheral arterial angioplasty (a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels), results from a trial in 96 people showed that the calcium channel blocker verapamil reduced restenosis (new blockage of the arteries) for six months.In one small study (n = 80), the thickness of the peripheral artery wall was the same regardless of whether people received the thiazide diuretic hydrochlorothiazide or the alpha-adrenergic receptor blocker doxazosin. In another small study (n = 36), MDC improved at 12 months in the angiotensin II receptor antagonist telmisartan group compared with placebo, but there were no significant differences in PBI or arterial wall thickness. Another study (n = 163) found no significant differences in the distance of intermittent or absolute claudication, LBI, all-cause mortality or non-fatal cardiovascular events after 24 weeks of treatment when comparing the beta-adrenergic receptor blocker group nebivolol versus the hydrochlorothiazide group.A study comparing two beta-adrenergic blockers, nebivolol and metoprolol, found no clear differences in intermittent or absolute claudication distance, LBI, all-cause mortality, or revascularization after 36 weeks of treatment. Subgroup analyzes for patients with PAD (n = 2699) in the latter study did not find significant differences in the combined endpoints of death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke with or without revascularization between treatment with a calcium antagonist (sustained release verapamil (CF) with or without trandolapril) compared to treatment with a beta-adrenergic receptor blocker (atenolol with or without hydrochlorothiazide).

There is insufficient evidence of the use of various antihypertensive drugs in people with PAD, so it is not known if there are significant benefits or risks. However, the lack of data examining outcomes specifically in patients with hypertension and PAD should not distract attention from the abundant evidence that exists for the benefits of treating hypertension and lowering blood pressure.

7 signs that blood clots may be in the body “UDF

Illustrative photo

If you do not ask for help in time, you can say goodbye to life.

Blood clots are blood clots. Normally, they protect us from scratches and other wounds: blood clots, a blood clot stops bleeding from a damaged capillary or vein. And then, having completed the task, within a few hours or days it safely disintegrates and disappears. But sometimes things don’t go according to plan. How to Tell if You Have a Blood Clot.

Why thrombi are dangerous

Thrombi can also occur inside the veins. This condition is called thrombosis. It most often affects the legs, especially if you are sedentary.But any part of the body can be at risk.

If such a blood clot breaks off, it will enter the general bloodstream and can block blood vessels in the heart, brain or lungs. This is a life-threatening situation that can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism – the stopping of the lungs.

Therefore, it is extremely important to know the symptoms of blood clots. Your life may depend on it.

When you need to immediately call an ambulance

Urgently dial 103 or 112, if:

– suddenly it became difficult to breathe, there is a lack of oxygen;

– there is chest pain or just discomfort, which is aggravated by coughing or taking a deep breath;

– when coughing, sputum is released with blood;

– difficulties with speech;

– vision deteriorated – double vision began to appear in the eyes, blind spots, “fog” appeared;

-blood pressure dropped sharply, and this is accompanied by dizziness, clouding of consciousness, fainting.

This is how a heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism manifest themselves. It is not a fact that they are provoked precisely by a detached blood clot. But in any case, there is no time to think about the reasons: if the above symptoms appear, immediately seek help.

How to understand that you may have blood clots
It is better not to bring the matter to critical, deadly manifestations – this is understandable. It is important to catch thrombosis at the earliest possible stage in order to prevent complications.

The problem is that it is difficult to suspect the presence of blood clots in the vessels. According to What is Venous Thromboembolism? According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of people have little blood clots.

Nevertheless, it is still possible to assume a blockage of the vessels. Here are some How to Tell if You Have a Blood Clot signs that indicate possible thrombosis in different parts of the body.

1. Swelling in the leg or arm

Edema can occur in the place where the vessel is directly blocked, or spread to the entire limb.Moreover, in this case, only one hand or leg suffers – the one in the vessels of which the alleged thrombus is located.

2. Leg cramps

Regular cramps can be a symptom of circulatory disorders. Blood clots can also cause it.

3. Sudden pain in the leg

This is one of the main symptoms of deep vein thrombosis. Often pain in the area of ​​the gastrocnemius muscle, sharp or throbbing Blood Clots, is almost the only sign of acute circulatory disorders.

4. Changes in skin color

Thrombus impedes normal blood circulation. As a result, some of the blood vessels are overflowing with blood, and some, on the contrary, suffer from a lack of it. This can be manifested by changes in skin color: in some areas of the affected limb, it turns red or cyanotic, in others, on the contrary, it turns pale.

5. Changes in skin temperature

In the area of ​​a blood clot, the skin may regularly heat up and itch.The rise in temperature has a chance to feel it by touch.

6. Unmotivated attacks of nausea or vomiting

If you feel nauseous regularly, this may be a symptom of thrombosis of mesenteric vessels – those that supply blood to different parts of the intestine. It is possible to assume the condition if vomiting appears, but does not bring relief, and you continue to feel nauseous.

7. Abdominal pain

It can also be a sign of blockage of mesenteric vessels.Especially if the stomach aches almost constantly, and the pain intensifies after eating. Also among the indirect signs of thrombosis are diarrhea and bloating.

What to do if you have signs of thrombosis

If you have the slightest suspicion, be sure to consult a physician as soon as possible. The doctor will conduct an examination, ask you about the symptoms and, if necessary, send you to a narrow specialist – a phlebologist or vascular surgeon.

Treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) will depend on where the clot is located and how high the risk is that it may come off.One option is to wear compression stockings to reduce swelling and pain and prevent the clot from growing in size. Medications may also be required: thromboembolytics (they dissolve blood clots) and anticoagulants (reduce blood clotting and prevent new blood clots from forming). The last resort is surgery.

We remind you once again: only a qualified doctor can decide which method of treatment will be most effective in your case.Self-activity in this matter is deadly.

And don’t relax. According to What is Venous Thromboembolism? According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 out of 10 people who get rid of thrombosis will have blood clots again within the next 10 years. Therefore, train yourself to monitor your well-being. Life can depend on it.

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Symptoms of the appearance of blood clots in blood vessels are named – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

A bluish or reddish skin tone that appears sharply in a person is the main symptom that signals the formation of blood clots.

According to the British Parliamentary Group’s 2018 annual report on thrombosis, excerpts from which were published by The Daily Mail, one in 20 people develops a blood clot in a vein, and more than half of this starts while the patient is in the hospital. Every year in England alone, more than 25,000 people die of blood clots in a hospital. This is more than the total number of deaths from breast cancer, AIDS and road traffic accidents.

Other signs may also indicate the formation of blood clots in the body, experts say.In particular, persistent swelling in the arms and legs. In this case, experts advise to see a doctor immediately. Blood clots can also be signaled by pain that resembles convulsions.

At the same time, patients with diabetes, obesity are most vulnerable to blood clots, especially after 60 years, since the formation of blood clots is usually caused by a sedentary lifestyle and inactivity. This causes blood to accumulate in the lower extremities, where a blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can develop in the deep veins.According to Richard Beaslia, a professor of medicine at the University of New Zealand Victoria, there are cases of people falling asleep during a long flight and often no longer getting up from their seats.

In some cases, a blood clot may clear on its own, but there is a risk that part of the clot may rupture and enter the lungs, leading to a fatal pulmonary embolism.

Doctors advise to include garlic, turmeric, flax seeds in the diet to reduce the risk of blood clots.In addition, doctors recommend that people at risk of thrombosis wear compression stockings, especially if they have had surgery for injuries such as bone fractures and sprains. They, experts say, should always be worn under a cast or device that immobilizes the leg.

2nd trimester of pregnancy: what happens to the fetus

2nd trimester: 13-26 weeks

Most women get more pleasure from the second trimester of pregnancy than from the first, with the disappearance of morning sickness, breast pain and fatigue.But be prepared for some other symptoms!

  • Pain. As a result of stretching of body tissues, you may experience pain in the sides and under the abdomen. Weight gain can cause back pain and leg cramps. The doctor will advise you on simple exercises for such cases.
  • stuffy nose. Increased hormone levels can lead to nasal congestion and nosebleeds.
  • Soft gums. Your gums tend to bleed, therefore oral hygiene requires special attention and careful use of a toothbrush.
  • Itchy skin. The skin of the abdomen may itch as a result of the stretching associated with the growth of the child. Try to use a moisturizer daily to avoid stretch marks.
  • Varicose veins and hemorrhoids. During pregnancy, you will be more prone to varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Try not to stand or sit for too long, or cross your legs in a sitting position. If you experience discomfort or soreness in the anal area, your doctor may prescribe a remedy for hemorrhoids.
  • Vaginal discharge. A thin, white vaginal discharge, called leukorrhea, is normal during this period of pregnancy. This discharge helps keep the vagina healthy. If you find a discharge of a different type or color, consult your doctor for advice.
  • Disorder of skin pigmentation. Pregnancy hormones can contribute to the appearance of dark spots on the face and abdomen. The sun can exacerbate the appearance of spots, so use sunscreen when going outside.Exposure to the sun without skin protection is contraindicated!
  • Shortness of breath. As your lungs pass more oxygen to meet your baby’s needs, you may experience shortness of breath or a faster breathing rate.
  • Increased appetite. As your child grows, you may feel hungry all the time, but there is no need to “eat for two”. When you need a snack, choose a healthy food like fruit or yogurt.

Main stages of the 2nd trimester of pregnancy

  • For the first time, you can feel your baby moving between 18 and 20 weeks of gestation.This phenomenon is called “revival” and is initially felt as a thrill in the abdomen.
  • As the child grows, your belly will grow.

Child development in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy

By the end of the 2nd trimester:

  • Your baby moves and reacts to touch and sound.
  • The eyelids begin to open, the eyebrows and eyelashes are visible.
  • The skin is covered with fine, downy hairs and a creamy white substance called vernix.
  • Swallowing and sucking reflexes develop.
  • Hair has begun to grow on the head.
  • Fingerprint lines have formed on the fingers.
  • The length of the baby’s body is about 23 cm from the head to the lower part of the body.

90,000 causes, symptoms, diagnosis and effective treatment in Moscow

What is

Stroke is a severe disruption of the normal blood supply to the brain. By the nature of the disorders, two main types of stroke are distinguished: ischemic (it is often called cerebral infarction) and hemorrhagic (including subarachnoid hemorrhage).

This article will focus on ischemic stroke, which occurs 4 times more often than hemorrhagic stroke. The word “ischemic” literally means that blood does not flow in sufficient volume to a particular organ – with such a stroke, blood does not enter the brain due to blockage or severe narrowing of the main arteries. As a result, brain tissue cells die off.

Causes and prevention of ischemic strokes

The most common cause of cerebral infarction is the movement of a blood clot through an artery and clogging it in a narrow place.A blood clot is a blood clot that is mainly made up of platelets. With normal vascular patency, platelets are responsible for blood clotting, but with atherosclerosis, cholesterol plaques form, narrowing the lumen of the artery, because of this, the usual blood flow is disturbed, side vortices are formed, and platelets stick together into clots. Also, the cause of the formation of a blood clot can be an increased level of sugar in the blood: with it, microtraumas form in the walls of the artery due to an increase in blood density, which also disrupt normal blood flow.

The narrowing of the lumen of a large artery by more than half can also become the cause of cerebral infarction. You can read more about this on the example of carotid artery stenosis (approx. Copy link to the article). When the artery narrows, the blood supply to the brain does not completely stop, therefore, a person often experiences a so-called minor stroke. A minor stroke is similar in symptoms to a regular stroke. Although the degree of damage is much less, this condition requires urgent medical attention: further deterioration of the condition of the arteries can lead to a stroke with all its consequences.

A person is not able to influence the movement of a blood clot through the vessels, but everyone can pay attention to a number of risk factors, exclude them if possible in order to prevent the formation of a blood clot and minimize the risk of ischemic stroke.

  • It is important to undergo treatment and periodically check your condition with a doctor if there is a chronic disease such as diabetes mellitus, confirmed atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, various disorders in the work of the heart and blood vessels.
  • Experts strongly recommend giving up tobacco and alcohol.
  • It is desirable to maintain an active, mobile lifestyle.
  • You need to monitor your diet, not to allow a strong imbalance in the direction of fats and fast carbohydrates.

The above points are effective, proven in the course of numerous studies, measures to prevent not only stroke, but also many other diseases.

But there are also risk factors that we cannot influence.Among them are old age (over 60 years) and heredity (if the closest relatives have suffered a stroke, or they have been found to have serious vascular disorders).

Symptoms of ischemic stroke

Almost never a cerebral infarction is asymptomatic. You may have already come across actively disseminated reminders for the timely recognition of a stroke: after all, it is very important to call an ambulance and provide the patient with medical care as early as possible – the sooner help is provided, the less brain damage.

The main symptoms of ischemic stroke are:

  • dizziness,
  • loss of orientation in space,
  • vomiting,
  • convulsions,
  • impaired coordination, speech, vision, writing, reading, swallowing,
  • the inability to move individual limbs and / or perform simple manipulations such as raising two hands at the same time, brushing teeth or flipping through the pages of a book.

Symptoms are extremely varied.They depend primarily on which part of the brain was deprived of blood supply – then exactly the function for which this area is responsible will be disrupted.

At the same time, all the symptoms do not appear, you may notice one or more – and this is a good reason to immediately call an ambulance.


Stroke diagnostics is quite complex, because a doctor will need a large amount of data to identify the cause and assess the brain damage, and therefore the consequences of a stroke.

CT or MRI can be used to visualize the state of the cerebral vessels, depending on the situation. Angiography – an X-ray study using a contrast agent introduced into the vessels will become a sufficiently informative study on the state of blood flow.

In addition, the doctor may prescribe a blood test, urine test; test for glucose, cholesterol levels; conduct an ultrasound examination.

Treatment of ischemic stroke

The primary task in a stroke is to save the patient and prevent the expansion of the area of ​​the brain damage.In the first hours after a stroke, drug treatment is effective. Further, after a detailed diagnosis and visualization of the affected vessel area, surgical methods are used to remove the thrombus or plaque that caused the stroke.

Treatment can be roughly divided into three stages:

  1. ensuring the necessary functioning of the body and preventing the expansion of the area of ​​brain damage in the phase of acute stroke (the first hours and days after the attack),
  2. eliminating the cause and minimizing the consequences of a stroke in the recovery phase,
  3. prevention of recurrent stroke.

No specialist can foresee in advance what the consequences will be in the body after a stroke. Indeed, the brain contains areas responsible for almost all vital processes. The recovery process after a stroke takes from several months to a year or more. Therefore, the main goal that the specialists of the neurological department of our center set themselves is to take measures to minimize the negative consequences of a stroke, taking into account the often elderly age of patients and to prevent relapse.For this, it is important to comprehensively manage the patient not by one attending physician, but by a whole team of specialists with the involvement of colleagues from other departments, if necessary. Turning to the FNCC, you can be sure that a person in this difficult situation will be provided with all the necessary medical assistance for the speedy restoration of brain functions. For this, the specialists of our center have developed their own three-stage program for the rehabilitation of patients after a stroke:

  • stage of work with a bedridden patient (maintaining the work of vital body functions),
  • stage of early rehabilitation (passive gymnastics, massage to restore basic functions until the patient gets out of bed),
  • stage of late rehabilitation (gradual restoration of motor, mental and other body functions affected by a stroke).