Vibration Therapy and DVT
What is DVT ( Deep Vein Thrombosis ) ...
Quite simply it is a blood clot that for various reasons builds up in the veins, with the risk being it may suddenly become dislodged and block a major artery.
Now DVT has become infamous over the past years from airlines worrying about passengers not moving around enough during flights. You may have read about it in the papers. The combination of air pressure change, sitting in a cramped position for long periods of time, and even some contraceptive pills can increase the risk of DVT. But it is important to note that flying is not the only place DVT can happen. Anyone sitting for an extended period of time anywhere should keep it in mind. And this is why....
First you have to think of your arterial system as being very similar to a garden hose. When you first buy it, its nice and soft and you can weave it around your trees and house with no lose of water pressure coming out the other end. But as the hose gets a bit old, it starts to harden up , which results in it not bending nicely and instead getting kinks in it sometimes. Almost stopping the water from coming out the other end completely. As we all know, to fix the problem you have to find the kink and straighten it out.
Well a very similar thing happens to our arteries as we get older, as you will have heard often, Doctors talking about "hardening of the arteries" as not a good medical condition to have. It can lead to narrower arteries or blockages to happen. Now of course looking after yourself with a good diet and lots of exercise helps delay this process, but for most people it is just a fact of life. Nothing to be scared of, just mindful of.
How does this affect my circulation sitting down ....?
Well think about when you are standing up. All your arteries are straight and have no kinks in them, hence under normal circumstances the blood should flow freely. But if you sit down there are two obvious places where you bend them. At your hip joints, and at your knees. Very similar to your garden hose and the water scenario, this can bring the flow of blood to slow down considerably. But with one very important difference, your blood is not like water..
What does blood do when its not moving well.....?
Quite simply it likes to clot. It is the exact same function your body uses to stop you from bleeding when cut. But in this instance there is no cut, just a bend in the veins it can not get around easily. The clot can get big enough sometimes to cause serious health issues that need to be treated by anti-clotting agents or sometimes even surgery. If not treated at all, it can be fatal.
Now how serious this is, is determined by a number of factors. But really it boils down to one simple idea. If you are going to have an issue, then sitting down for extended periods is not the best idea. You really do want to put the effort in to get up and move around as much as possible.
Eg. If watching TV, get up and walking at least to the kitchen and back during each ad break. Or if you are sitting down working, then instead of emailing someone, go and talk to them. Making a habit of moving is never a bad thing.
But what if I cant get up and move around easily ......
Ok so you are on an aircraft. Of course you are told to move occasionally, but everyone getting up and walking around all the time would be impossible. Or if you have arthritis, getting up every TV ad break is just far too painful an option. So what can you do ?
Anti-clotting agents like aspirin are sometimes recommended and if your Doctor tells you to take them, then always follow their instructions. But sometimes a little stimulation is enough to keep the blood from settling and this is where Vibration Therapy may help. By simply placing your feet on the Vibration Therapy device, multiple small contraction happen deep within the leg muscles pushing the blood around your arteries. You can feel it pulsing through your legs and after 10 mins ( auto 10 min timer will turn off ) your feet should feel slightly hot and tingle. This is a sign of the increased circulation you are looking for.
Important note: If you have already been diagnosed with DVT increasing the circulation is not a good idea. Always follow medical advice and when you have been cleared of DVT, then you can use Vibration Therapy as a possible precaution to it happening again.