Preventing deep vein thrombosis is far easier than treating it after it has occurred. Some common preventive measures include the following:

  • Take any prescribed medications as directed. If you're having surgery, such as orthopedic surgery, you'll probably be given blood thinners while you're in the hospital.
  • Check in with your doctor regularly to see if your medication or treatments need to be modified.
  • Watch how much vitamin K you're eating if you take blood thinners. Vitamin K can affect how drugs such as warfarin work. Foods high in vitamin K include green leafy vegetables and canola and soybean oils.
  • Exercise your lower calf muscles if you'll be sitting a long time. Whenever possible, get up and walk around. If you can't get up to walk around, try raising and lowering your heels while keeping your toes on the floor, then raising your toes while your heels are on the floor.
  • Move. If you've been on bed rest, because of surgery or other factors, the sooner you get moving, the less likely blood clots will develop.
  • Make lifestyle changes. Lose weight, quit smoking and control your blood pressure. Obesity, smoking and high blood pressure all increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis.
  • Wear compression stockings to help prevent blood clots in the legs if your doctor recommends them.
Jan. 19, 2013