Cycling with compression stockings (for DVT)?

Discussion in 'Health Nutrition and Supplements' started by enb14, May 21, 2007.

  1. enb14

    enb14 New Member

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    About 2 months ago I was diagnosed with a DVT in my popliteal vein (behind my knee). I am on blood thinners and I wear a compression stocking all day every day. I would like to get back to some recreational riding but I can't find a single post on the Internet that discusses wearing compression stockings while cycling. Is that what I'm supposed to do? Will it chafe? If so, what can I do to prevent or mitigate the chafing? Will the stretching and movement ruin the stocking? Etc. Thank you!
     
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  2. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    I have varicose veins and wear flight socks all the time. they are fine for cycling in.
     
  3. muxy

    muxy New Member

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    I would worry about them bunching up. Try it on a stationary and see how it goes. DVT could be deadly.
     
  4. t2tall

    t2tall New Member

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    I don't have DVT and I'm not a doctor, so I can't speak to the dangers of cycling with a deep vein issue. I do however have a large superficial vein that has been a problem for years, in fact it ulcerated many years ago, prior to my wearing compression stockings. I'm currently trying to average 100 miles a week or so of cycling and wear the stocking at all times when I do. Actually, now that I'm losing some weight and being active the vein bothers me less and less. Check with your MD to see if the activity in and of itself is good for you. The stocking should pose no problem as long as you are healthy enough to do the exercise.

    If you are worried about abrading the stocking or damaging it in some way, throw a set of cycling tights on.
     
  5. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    I don't see any problem in wearing TEDs for cycling. It's really not very different to a pair of long leg warmers. Although given the amount of muscle pump action, I'd be surprised if you'll have much venous stasis during cycling. It's the time after you've get off your bike and standing around doing nothing that you need to worry.
     
  6. enb14

    enb14 New Member

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    Thanks, guys. It is not the exercise that is the problem, just the logistics of the stocking that I was wondering about. I wear a thigh-high stocking since the clot extended above my knee -- I'm sure it will look fabulous under my shorts, ha ha. The last poster is right -- probably the swelling would be worst after I stop moving, so I'll need to put my leg up afterward.
     
  7. vascdoc

    vascdoc New Member

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    I do not think he is talking about Ted Hose stocking - which provide about 10-15 mmhg compression. I think he has a higher grade like a 30-40. Of course I can not provide any professional advise in this situation since a good physical exam and understanding of the exact nature of the dvt is needed - however, only 2 months into a dvt may be a bit early for riding. You should talk with your doctor on this one.
     
  8. enb14

    enb14 New Member

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    vascdoc -- my internal medicine doc and my father (family doc) have both said that cycling would be fine, but I don't think they know that much about DVT. I don't have any swelling but am wearing a 30-40 stocking all day every day. Leg turns color slightly when standing without the stocking on but the color goes away immediately upon elevation. I am able to walk at good speed for 60 minutes (with the stocking on) with no "heavy leg" feeling or swelling in the evening when the stocking comes off. Do you think I should go see a vascular surgeon for a more informed opinion before starting cycling?

    BTW, gang, I am a 38-year-old female who got the DVT as a result of flying while taking birth control pills and having one drink before a 2-hour flight. Genetic tests for thrombophilia have been negative. I am telling every woman I know who is over 30 to avoid the pill, and telling everyone never to have a drink before, during, or immediately after a flight. Since this happened to me I have many DVT horror stories (check out airhealth.org).
     
  9. vascdoc

    vascdoc New Member

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    I must again state that my comments are in general and can not be used for patient care issues. In general the routine treatment of a DVT is with coumadin for often 6 months. To the best of my knowledge no papers have been published regarding the time after a DVT has been diagnosed and treated relative to the initiation of exersize. The concern is that a DVT could result in a pulmonary embolus. If a DVT were located behind the knee - in the popliteal vein - in principle, the risk would be greater than other forms of upper body exersize due to the significant movement at the level of the knee. Certainly a vascular consult could be helpful to consider your specific findings and potential risks with activity on an individual basis.

    I would also add that I think that consideration for a hematology consult to rule out Factor V Liden mutation would also be an option.

    These comments are made in general and not specific to any person reading this posting. I can not treat nor recommend treatments to individuals I have not completed a full and comprehensive exam and review.
     
  10. enb14

    enb14 New Member

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    Thanks. I am going to see a vascular surgeon or hematologist. It's time that someone posted some info about cycling after DVT, and since I haven't found much, I guess I will be the one to do it.

    BTW, to anyone reading this who has a DVT or pulmonary embolism (PE), I recommended subscribing to Yahoo's thrombosis group. My doctor never even mentioned compression stockings as a treatment, but I found out about them from the group, and then found that there are at least three clinical studies that found that stockings reduce the chance of postthrombotic syndrome (permanent pain and swelling).
     
  11. vascdoc

    vascdoc New Member

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    I did not suggest "or". The vascular surgeon can assist by providing guidelines for activities and the proper grade of compression stocking. The hematologist will provide understanding as to possible health care issues that might require lifelong coumadin.
     
  12. dero

    dero New Member

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    A few years later...
    New guy on the block, I have been riding MTB since 1996 and in 2007 I was diagnosed with DVT, then in 2009 with PTS (Post Thrombotic Syndrome). I have been wearing the 20-30 compression socks (knee high, open toe) since 2007 and was upped to 30-40 in 2009. I did ask my hemotologist if I had to wear them while riding and her response was "YES!!!!!!!, That is when you need them the most, they help proper blood circulation".
    I did find them(30-40) too restrictive,we all know how much our calve explode on a steep climb... After that first ride I did call my hemo back and told her about it, she did tell me that when a ride I should lessen the compression, therefor getting a pair of 20-30 for when I ride...

    So for those with DVT or PTS, check with your Dr. (vasc surgeon or hemotologist) about compression socks.


    A few good sites about DVT:


    http://lifeafterdvt.forumotion.com/

    http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Deep-Vein-Thrombosis-DVT/support-group

    http://www.clotconnect.org/
     
  13. mspropst

    mspropst New Member

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    DEFINITELY go see your doctor first for the reasons highlighted above/expanded below. I'm a second year about to head to third year medical student. Meaning I'm unlicensed obviously and this is all personal opinion/what we have been taught in class.

    Risk factors for DVT include being female, on conceptive pills, air travel, pregnancy (three of these factors relating to female hormones). Also getting older in general. As well as any other factors leading to general heart disease: obesity, high cholesterol, etc.

    Like vascdoc said, it is in a high movement area and you should definitely consult your doctor. Even two if need be who are specialized in the area and make sure they give you matching answers that they came to without you saying what the other doctors opinion was. The biggest concern with DVT is that it is Deep Venous Thrombosus, or a plaque inside the veins of your leg that can grow quite large if treatment/lifestyle changes are not made. Under the right conditions, lots of movement and pressure it can possibly dislodge and go from your legs to your lungs. If you block the blood to your lungs, you block O2 getting to the rest of your body = not good. You're already being treated which is a good thing, getting rid of the thrombus, making it smaller or maybe even getting rid of it entirely. It's the big, untreated ones that are particularly scary because if they're super huge they can block both lungs. Since you're being treated you're making good progress, just make sure with your doctor(s) specialized in these areas before you go off biking like crazy. Better to be safe.

    Over compression can help dislodge a DVT and turn it into a pulmonary embolism as mentioned above, thereby totally reducing the therapeutic effects of the stockings since it counters the whole purpose of them. That'd be the reason you need to knock the compression down.
     
  14. mspropst

    mspropst New Member

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    By the way, didn't want to scare you or anything. Just figured if you doctor wasn't very good at explaining it, someone should. I'm more for the straightforward and proactive approach. This is how things are (obviously don't know your exact situation), this is what we can do to fix it, this is how the whole thing works and how the treatment works (likely to be in non-scientific/medical terms so you can understand).
     
  15. Jenifer Smith

    Jenifer Smith New Member

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    Flight socks or Travel socks not intended to DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). There is a great effect of compression level. 30-40 mmHg graduated compression stockings are most helpful for DVT. I use 30-40 mmHg Jobst open toe compression stockings for my DVT problem since last 2 years. I purchase my pair from http://www.legstherapy.com/compression.html. Their price also good. Now I am about to free from DVT by using those stockings.
     
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