Barangaroo Runners – How To Tell The Difference Between A Calf Cramp And A DVT?

Have you been making the most of the Barangaroo Reserve running route? Or testing yourself on the Barangaroo stairs? A common complaint among runners is cramping in the calves. But how do you tell the difference between a straight forward calf cramp and a more serious injury like a DVT?

A DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is a blot clot that forms as a result of blood thickening and clumping together in a vein deep in the body. A muscle cramp is defined as an uncontrollable and painful spasm of the muscle.

Signs & Symptoms of a DVT

– pain and tenderness in the leg

– pain on extending the foot

– swelling of the lower leg, ankle and foot

– skin that is red and warm to touch

– a “tiredness” in your calf
A calf cramp can commonly present in both legs, where as a blood clot will usually appear in one spot. A DVT will often present with pain, redness, heat and a palpable lump, whereas a strain or muscle cramp will be painful but doesn’t always have redness or heat radiating from the area. A cramp can usually be “walked off”, whereas a DVT has a constant pain intensity.

Risk Factors for a DVT

– prolonged bed rest

– long haul car, train or airplane journeys

– obesity

– smoking

– varicose veins

– major surgery or serious injury

– pregnancy, hormonal contraception and/or hormone replacement therapy

– stroke

– spinal cord injury

If you’ve experienced a running injury or any lower leg pain that you’re uncertain of, be sure to have it looked at with one of our Bend + Mend Physiotherapists today. We have clinics at both King Street Wharf near Barangaroo and Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD. If you’re concerned you might be suffering symptoms similar to that of a DVT be sure to book an appointment with your GP immediately.

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