Athletes aren't Immune to Blood Clotting.
You think athletes are immune to blood clots, ask tennis star Serena Williams or professional basketball player Brandon Ingram.
Many people feel blood clots are a problem that occur strictly in elderly people. This is troubling because symptoms may be assumed to be less severe than they really are. After an injury to an athlete, a trainer may often interpret the leg symptoms from a blood clot as simply some kind of muscle strain or slight tear. Or attribute it to a twisted knee/ankle or a very common shin splint. When a professional athlete or weekend warrior has chest symptoms from a pulmonary embolism the associated pains will more times than not be attributed to a pulled muscle, costochondritis (inflammation of the joint between ribs and breast bone), bronchitis, asthma, or even pneumonia.
The job of veins is to carry blood back to the heart from the rest of your body. A DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is a clot deep in the veins of the legs, arms, pelvis, abdomen, or around the brain. Severe trouble arises when a piece of the clot breaks off and makes its way through the blood and lodges in blood vessels in the lungs, blocking the flow of blood. This is known as a Pulmonary Embolism or (PE) for short and can be fatal.
Several circumstances put the athletes at increased risk for DVT and PE.
Have you seen an athlete sweat? It's not pretty. This professional level sweating leads to dehydration which decreases plasma, the liquid part of the blood, that in turn will make blood more thick and sticky. I will leave you to do the math.
Finely-tuned athletes often have lower resting heart rates and lower blood pressure. A BP lower than 60 beats per minute can contribute to blood pooling and possibly clotting.
Non stop traveling is part of the game, especially for marathoners or extreme sports. Sitting for over 4 hrs increases the chance of a blood clot and layering in altitude during flight compounds this. A 2010 study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, investigated the effect of air travel on exercise-induced coagulation and fibrinolysis in endurance athletes. Results suggest that the combination of air travel and marathon running induces an acute hypercoagulable state, subjecting the traveling athlete to significant risk of deep vein thrombosis. "The IRONMAN athlete is a perfect storm for a DVT. Athletes undergo a certain amount of muscle damage in races, and are also likely dehydrated when they get back in a car or plane." Dr. Jim Muntz (Team Physician for the NBA Houston Rockets)
Despite diligent training and conditioning, competitive athletes frequently suffer injuries, including broken bones. Any injury to a vein or a severe muscle injury can increase the risk for developing DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). The casts and braces needed to stabilize broken bones limit your mobility, allowing your blood to pool, thereby increasing your risk.
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Additionally, it breaks down fibrin and fibrinogen, diminishing chances for plaque and red blood cell-induced clot formation. www.flightarmour.com