How can you tell the difference between a Charlie horse and a blood clot?

Asked By: Shemeka Valmary | Last Updated: 11th May, 2020
Category: medical health heart and cardiovascular diseases
4.4/5 (694 Views . 37 Votes)
Typically, it's a charley horse that strikes at night and only lasts a few minutes. A DVT blood clot can cause a calf cramp that feels a lot like a charley horse. Like leg pain, the cramping sensation with DVT will persist and even worsen with time.

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In respect to this, does a blood clot feel like a cramp?

Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis You can often feel the effects of a blood clot in the leg. Early symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include swelling and tightness in the leg. You may have a persistent, throbbing cramp-like feeling in the leg. You may also experience pain or tenderness when standing or walking.

Beside above, what does it feel like when you have a blood clot in your leg? With a blood clot, your leg may also feel warm as the clot worsens. You may even notice a slight reddish or bluish hue to your skin. You shouldn't worry about a clot if the leg pain is made worse with exercise but relieved by rest.

Also, how can you tell the difference between a blood clot and a leg cramp?

cramp and pulled muscles will cause pain but not necessarily hot skin or redness in the affected area. whereas cramp can be 'walked off', pain caused a blood clot is more likely to persist. bending the foot at the ankle, so that the toes point upwards, will cause or intensify pain in the calf if a blood clot is present

How do you know if you have a blood clot?

Get advice from 111 now if think you have a blood clot Symptoms of a blood clot include: throbbing or cramping pain, swelling, redness and warmth in a leg or arm. sudden breathlessness, sharp chest pain (may be worse when you breathe in) and a cough or coughing up blood.

35 Related Question Answers Found

When should I be concerned about calf pain?

When to see a doctor
A person should seek emergency medical treatment if they suspect they have DVT. The symptoms of DVT include pain, swelling, and warmth in one leg. Other signs a person should seek emergency treatment for calf pain include: sudden extreme swelling in the legs.

Do blood clots kill you instantly?

An immobile blood clot generally won't harm you, but there's a chance that it could move and become dangerous. If a blood clot breaks free and travels through your veins to your heart and lungs, it can get stuck and prevent blood flow. This is a medical emergency.

Can you die if you have a blood clot in your leg?

Yes, you can die of a deep vein thrombosis. Death in DVT cases typically occurs when the clot or a piece of it travels to the lung (pulmonary embolism). If a pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs, the prognosis can be more severe. About 25% of people who have a PE will die suddenly, and that will be the only symptom.

What should you do if you suspect a blood clot?

Trouble breathing.
You may also get a bad cough, and might even cough up blood. You may get pain in your chest or feel dizzy. Call 911 to get medical help right away. Lower leg cramp: If the clot is in your calf or lower leg, you may feel like you have a cramp or charley horse.

Can Urgent Care detect clots?


If your doctor can't fit you in, head to the emergency room or an urgent care facility where they have ultrasound capabilities, which they'll use to check for a clot. But people who experience one blood clot are at greater risk of getting another one, Dr.

How do you treat a blood clot in the leg at home?

To ease the pain and swelling of a DVT, you can try the following at home:
  1. Wear graduated compression stockings. These specially fitted stockings are tight at the feet and become gradually looser up on the leg, creating gentle pressure that keeps blood from pooling and clotting.
  2. Elevate the affected leg.
  3. Take walks.

Can you get a blood clot from a charley horse?

Typically, it's a charley horse that strikes at night and only lasts a few minutes. A DVT blood clot can cause a calf cramp that feels a lot like a charley horse. Like leg pain, the cramping sensation with DVT will persist and even worsen with time.

Can aspirin dissolve blood clots?

Aspirin interferes with your blood's clotting action. Then, a blood clot can quickly form and block the artery. This prevents blood flow to the heart and causes a heart attack. Aspirin therapy reduces the clumping action of platelets — possibly preventing a heart attack.

How long can a blood clot stay in your leg?

A DVT or pulmonary embolism can take weeks or months to totally dissolve. Even a surface clot, which is a very minor issue, can take weeks to go away. If you have a DVT or pulmonary embolism, you typically get more and more relief as the clot gets smaller.

What can mimic a blood clot?


Some of them are:
  • Injury to a vein.
  • Bed rest.
  • Sitting for a long time, such as on a flight.
  • Birth control pills.
  • Hormone replacement therapy.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Chronic diseases like heart disease, lung disease, cancer, Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis.
  • Family history of DVT or pulmonary embolism.

How do I know if my calf pain is DVT?

DVT symptoms. Common symptoms include: swelling in your foot, ankle, or leg, usually on one side. cramping pain in your affected leg that usually begins in your calf.

Will a DVT go away on its own?

When clots form in the legs they are referred to as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Blood clots do go away on their own, as the body naturally breaks down and absorbs the clot over weeks to months. Depending on the location of the blood clot, it can be dangerous and you may need treatment.

What is the main cause of blood clots?

Blood clots can also form when your blood doesn't flow properly. If it pools in your blood vessels or heart, the platelets are more likely to stick together. Atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are two conditions where slowly moving blood can cause clotting problems.

How common is DVT?

How common is DVT? The chances of developing DVT are about 1 in 1000 per year, although certain factors greatly increase this risk. The cumulative chance of developing DVT over a lifetime ranges from 2 percent to 5 percent. An estimated 300,000 first-time cases of DVT occur in the United States every year.

Why wont my leg cramp go away?


Many people worry that a leg or calf cramp signals a serious problem, like deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is basically a blood clot that forms in one of the deep veins of your body, generally the leg. Since leg, calf and hamstring cramps generally go away on their own, no treatment is usually needed.

Can leg cramps be a sign of something serious?

Leg cramps are characterized by sudden, severe, and involuntary muscle contractions. The majority of leg cramps are idiopathic and harmless, but some may result from underlying illnesses such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease.

What are the first signs of a blood clot?

7 early warning signs and symptoms of DVT
  • Pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Warmth.
  • Redness.
  • Leg cramps, often starting in the calf.
  • Leg pain that worsens when bending the foot.
  • Bluish or whitish skin discoloration.