blood clot in legs


My husband developed a blood clot in his leg after a trip to the Apostle Islands. The doctors say it was probably caused by the long trip in the car rather than the long hours in the kayak. Has anyone developed a blot after long hours in a kayak? I would appreciate any information.


I have read that blood clots in the legs
are a problem for frequent fliers. My guess would be that the edge of the seat restricts blood flow in the legs and leads to clots. The same would apply in a car, but a kayak seat doesn’t restrict your legs the same way.

Of course, this is like a Critter paddler talking about a sea kayak.

with your legs straight out in a kayak it’s your less likely to develop clots though blood can still pool in you lower extremities because their lower than your heart and there is no movement [contraction of muscles] especially if you have circulatory problems. clots are more likely with bending and crossing your legs cutting off circualtion. some people seem to be more prone to developing clots as well depending on their health history and/or genetics.

An M sprayskirt with an L lower trunk could retard venous escape from the lower extremities predisposing to stasis and a clot. Dehydration might also play a role. Still, odds would be with the long car trip as the culprit, though often a combination of factors (discoverable and not) might line up to cause this. A baby aspirin a day might prevent recurrence, once he is done with any short term anti-coagulants.

This sort of thing ought to happen at the office, not to contaminate our play.


Too many factors
Genetics and previous physical activity as well as cholesterol and diet are just a few factors. Do not have your husband start aspirin therapy without his physicians knowledge. Make sure he follows his medication and laboratory regimen and consider a med-alert tag.

butchie — I agree with tsunamichuck.
We are both in health care and his advice is accurate. There will never be a means to tell if the clot was from the kayaking or the drive; the key is to keep moving, have the blood tests from his doctor to determine any predispositon to clotting, and to take any prescribed medication (generally short term coumadin).

Deep Vein Thrombosis. I developed a DVT a few days after I had a nasty backcountry skiing crash when I broke my ankle and leg in 3 places. I was miserable for many weeks. After spending a week in the hospital on the blood thinner heparin, I was released and kept on the blood thinner warfarin (coumadin, rat poison, etc). Warfarin has a very narrow therapeutic range. If you don’t take enough it isn’t effective and if you take too much you may hemorrhage. Lucky for me both cases happended even though my blood was tested weekly and within the published therapeutic range. First the clot got significantly larger and then after my warfarin dose was increased I got a huge bloody nose that I didn’t think was going to stop. My case was compounded by the damage to and immobility of my leg.

When on blood thinner for a DVT, you also need to watch what you eat and be careful. Certain foods like yogurt & leafy green vegetables affect how your blood clots and if you fall down or bump your head you may cause some bleeding or worstcase a stroke.

I think in certain cases it’s likely kayaking exacerbates or causes DVTs. Whenever I read about a kayaker suddenly dying from a “heart attack” if it really wasn’t a pulmonary embolism or clot induced heart attack.

One reason I paddle a rec boat is it provides a comfortable seat, good leg/foot room, and I can vary my leg postions and pump my legs to ensure blood flow especially in cold conditions. It is also important to stay hydrated to avoid blood clots.

Echo 1, try a good solo canoe .
Serious comfort.

Only Thing I Can Add…
…is to discuss with your Dr. if he/she thinks he would benefit from TED’s hose. Kinda funny looking if you wear shorts, but since some health problems I have edema (Swelling) in both ankles and feet and without the TED’s hose my feet and ankles can get very “Puffy.” Also by increasing venous return and decreasing pooling of the blood, it will decrease his likelyhood of further DVT’s. Long car trips should be broken into not much more than 2 hrs sitting at a time and then get out and walk arround. Same with paddling. GOod luck! WW

use of legs
With good torso rotation you will use your legs. Stroke on right extend right leg twist but in seat and bend left leg and vice versa. This muscle contraction will passively constrict veins and keep blood flowing and should reduce risk for clots.


Blood clots
I agree that with proper paddling technique the risk of blood clot due to inactive muscles will be reduced. A friend who uses better technique than I do, says it’s almost like riding a bicycle when he gets into the right rhythm.

OTOH, there are so many possible factors involved that I’m sure it would be possible for someone to develop a clot in their legs while riding a bicycle. About all you can do – it seems to me – is play the odds and do what seems best, hoping that it is best for you.


blood clot in legs
Thanks for all the input. My husband has to make a decision whether or not to stay on the coumadin. He would hate to give up kayaking.


Coumadin was offered when I started
having atrial fibrillation at age 62, but I turned it down. There is no evidence that I am continuing to fibrillate, and with acceptable blood pressure and no stroke or clot history, I am in a low risk class where two 81mg aspirin a day brings most of the benefit of aspirin plus coumadin.

Because your husband has already had thrombosis, coumadin may be judged necessary, but I think the doctor’s judgement that car-riding is worse than kayaking is correct. He might rig up an alarm which vibrates every ten minutes and reminds him to stand up or shift position.

The other thing to press the docs on is whether the clotting risk CONTINUES. There is a tendency for docs to carry on with a treatment (coumadin has its own risks) when they are not showing that the problem still exists.

Truck drivers
often get blood clots in the legs from sitting for long periods of time. Doesnt surprise me that a long car drive could do the same thing.

I’m on coumadin
for several years now due to numerous episodes of phlebitis and thrombosis, hospitalized twice. Turns out I have a genetic issue called Factor V (as in five) Leiden, a protein deficiency that causes rapid clotting. They can do a DNA test for it. My doctor said a majority of clotting problems have been traced to it. Before the rat poison therapy, I wore the stockings, stayed off planes, and took a walk every hour when driving long distance. I’ve not had a problem since it was diagnosed.

Have you tried prayer for healing
I’ve been a Christian for almost 30 years and have seen healings too numerous to mention. About this time last year, a woman was scheduled for surgery for bone tumors but they completely disappeared after prayer.