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Blood clots are extremely serious health ordeals that need to be treated as soon as possible. Being aware of the symptoms, or having someone around that does, in some cases can mean the difference between life and death. Some of these symptoms may arise in your “upper limbs”, primarily your arms, neck, and shoulders.
There are two main types of blood clots, that are grouped together based on what blood vessels they affect.
A blood clot in your artery is called an arterial clot. These can bring about a stroke or a heart attack.
But a blood clot in your vein is known as a venous clot. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is one type of venous clot.
One of the main dangers of DVT is that the clot breaks off from where it starts and spreads to your lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). PE affects roughly one in ten with DVT.
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DVT normally affects the veins in people’s lower body, but in roughly 5 percent of cases, the clots may occur in your upper body, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.
Neck and shoulder pain
The first “common” sensation that can occur in your “upper limbs” is neck and shoulder pain, explains the charity Thrombosis UK.
The health body explains: “The most noticeable sign of deep vein thrombosis in the upper limbs is a sharp pain around the neck and shoulders.
“This might make movement difficult or impact your sleep.”
It’s also worth being aware of the signs of a pulmonary embolism, just in case you or your doctor don’t attribute your symptoms to DVT, or you don’t notice any signs.
Spire Health explains: “If you experience trouble breathing it may be a sign that the clot has moved from your arm or leg to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism — you should get medical attention immediately.”
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to cut down your risk of suffering from DVT.
Frequent exercise is vital. Being inactive for a long time increases the chances of your blood clotting.
The website familydoctor.org recommends getting up every “hour or so” and walking around, or doing leg exercises.
The health portal also recommends making effort to stop smoking, lose weight if you are overweight and work to control your blood pressure.