DVT Prevention for Athletes

Athletes are constantly pushing the limits of their physical endurance, but with high-intensity training and competition comes an increased risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). While DVT prevention might not be the first thing on every athlete's mind, understanding how to manage this risk is crucial for maintaining long-term health and performance.

First up, What is DVT?

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition where blood clots form in the deep veins of the body, usually in the legs. These clots can cause pain, swelling, and in severe cases, can break free and travel to the lungs, leading to a potentially life-threatening situation known as pulmonary embolism. For athletes, the balance of rigorous training, recovery periods, and travel can create a unique set of conditions that may increase the risk of developing DVT.

Understanding the Risk Factors for Athletes

The intense physical exertion associated with athletic training can lead to dehydration, muscle injuries, and inflammation, all of which can contribute to an increased risk of DVT. According to a study published in the "Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis," individuals engaging in strenuous exercise, especially in endurance sports, face a heightened risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes DVT (Schreijer, Cannegieter, Doggen, & Rosendaal, 2008).

Hydration: A Vital Component of DVT Prevention

For athletes, adequate hydration is a critical factor in reducing the risk of blood clots. Keeping the body well-hydrated helps to lower blood viscosity and promote healthy circulation, thereby minimizing the risk of clot formation. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends adjusting fluid intake based on activity level and environmental factors to combat dehydration and its associated risks effectively.

The Role of Compression Socks in DVT Prevention

Compression socks can play a significant role in enhancing blood circulation and reducing the risk of DVT by preventing the stagnation of blood in the legs. A review in the "British Journal of Sports Medicine" highlights the effectiveness of compression garments in improving venous flow and reducing exercise-induced venous pooling (Born, Sperlich, & Holmberg, 2013).

Incorporating Active Recovery and Mobility

Active recovery methods, including light exercise and mobility work, can further support circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots. Athletes should incorporate gentle movements, stretching, and foam rolling into their routines, especially after intense physical activities, to maintain optimal blood flow.

By staying informed and taking preventative measures against DVT, athletes can ensure their hard work leads to success, not setbacks.


  • Schreijer, A.J.M., Cannegieter, S.C., Doggen, C.J.M., & Rosendaal, F.R. (2008). Physical activity and the risk of venous thrombosis. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 6(5), 815-818.
  • American College of Sports Medicine. (2016). ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. 9th ed.

Born, D.P., Sperlich, B., & Holmberg, H.C. (2013). Bringing light into the dark: effects of compression clothing on performance and recovery. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 47(2), 13-19.

Shop now