Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

In addition to medical treatments, here are self-care measures to help improve thrombophlebitis.

If you have superficial thrombophlebitis:

  • Use a warm washcloth to apply heat to the involved area several times daily
  • Elevate your leg
  • Use a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), if recommended by your doctor

If you have deep vein thrombosis:

  • Take prescription anticoagulant medications as directed to prevent complications
  • Elevate your leg if it's swollen
  • Wear your prescription compression stockings as directed

Let your doctor know if you're taking another blood thinner, such as aspirin.

Prevention

Sitting during a long flight or car ride can cause your ankles and calves to swell and increases your risk of thrombophlebitis. To help prevent a blood clot:

  • Take a walk. If you're flying or riding a train or bus, walk up and down the aisle once an hour or so. If you're driving, stop every hour or so and move around.
  • Move your legs regularly. Flex your ankles, or carefully press your feet against the floor or footrest in front of you at least 10 times each hour.
  • Wear loose clothing.
  • Drink plenty of nonalcoholic fluids to avoid dehydration.
Nov. 30, 2016
References
  1. Nasr H, et al. Superficial thrombophlebitis (superficial venous thrombosis). British Medical Journal. 2015;350:u2039.
  2. Scovell S, et al. Phlebitis and thrombosis of the superficial lower extremity veins. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 11, 2016.
  3. Bauer KA. Approach to the diagnosis and therapy of a lower extremity deep vein thrombosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 11, 2016.
  4. Di Nisio M, et al. Treatment for superficial thrombophlebitis of the leg (review). Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004982.pub5/abstract. Accessed July 11, 2016.
  5. Deep vein thrombosis. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dvt#. Accessed July 11, 2016.
  6. Alguire PC, et al. Post-thrombotic (postphlebitic) syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 11, 2016.