What can be done for the pain and swelling associated with deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism?

4 answers | Last updated: Oct 29, 2016
Chere asked...

Has anyone had a deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism and now dealing with chronic venous insuffiency? If so what kind of treatment and management is helping to take care of the pain/discomfort and swelling?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

An acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT)can be quite painful, but pain usually resolves once the clot has gone away and the swelling goes down. During this acute phase, pain medications can be used to reduce discomfort.

Chronic venous insufficiency basically means that the veins in your lower extremites stretch out and lose tone, causing blood and fluid to pool in the legs instead of going back to your heart. Unfortunately, this does cause increased swelling in the lower legs, which can lead to pain and discomfort. My best suggestion would be to wear compression stockings, which will help support your veins and decrease edema, which will in turn help reduce pain. Other things that help are elevating your legs when sitting down. If your legs ache from the edema, you can try taking Tylenol routinely to reduce the pain.

One thought I have is if your legs are really painful, especially when you are walking, you may have a component of arterial disease in your legs as well. If this does occur, please let your health care provider know so that you can be evaluated for the proper treatment.

Community Answers

Geniel answered...

its help but someone needs to help educated social security disability program, on how hard it is to work, and chronic post thrombotic syndrome really is, and make it easier for people to get benefits, inorder, to survive. Jobs these days want you to do more than what is expected, and expect you there on their schedule. Post thrombotic syndrome does not work that way. Most people have to work around their leg.

Catlady4847 answered...

I have experienced both bilateral DVT's and Pulmonary Embolisms. There is a lot of pain associated with this condition. When you have a complete blockage of the main vein down your legs, the valves are damaged and blood goes down but it takes a great deal of effort for the heart to try to pump it back up where it travels through your lungs to get oxygen. If your lungs are scarred from multiple PE's, it makes it hard for the exchange to take place. All your muscles hurt from the lack of oxygen in the blood. They are weak. Your chest hurts from the extra work the heart & lungs are doing. I can exert only a few minutes before the pain is too severe and I am terribly out of breath. The one thing I have learned that helps is to keep my legs elevated, plan only short trips up, as soon as I start to get out of breath and hurting, sit down immediately and elevate my legs or lay down flat until I can breath normally and the muscles stop hurting. I use a muscle relaxer if it gets too bad and morophine immediate release (MSIR) if the pain gets to a 9 or 10. I will live with this the rest of my life. I have seen multiple specialists and there is no cure because the damage cannot be undone. Get a laptop and find lots of things you are interested in. It will keep you occupied and keep from going stir crazy. I also got an electric scooter. i can go around for longer as long as I am sitting. Also we take short trips out in the car where I can recline if I get uncomfortable. It's nice to get out of the house once in a while. I was a Registered Nurse for many years until my accident, so I'm pretty pro-active about finding answers, and these were the only ones I've found. By the way, when you have chronic veinous insufficiency, your lower legs become very sensitive to pressure. I have tried all different kinds of pressure hose, both short and long, and it is too painful to wear either kind. The only thing that does work is short streach ace bandages over cotton batting and a knit sleeve. A lymphedema specialist can show you how to do the wraps. And it does work and doesn't hurt. My legs were both triple their normal size and this got them down in only a couple of weeks.

Jaymac answered...

Jesus is the answer. With faith and trust in the lord I have overcome a dvt. Put your faith in the lord. God bless.