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 Barangaroo – King Street Wharf 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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