Leg Pain: Can Signal Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
This type of pain starts deep inside the calf and feels like an ache or a cramp similar to a charley horse. The leg area may become swollen and red with the sudden appearance of varicose veins.
Leg pain like this can be a sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which occurs when a blood clot forms inside a vein. This situation can become life-threatening when a clot gets loose and travels through the bloodstream, causing an embolism that can get stuck in the brain, heart, lungs or other area.
When to Worry Scale
Green Zone: Lowest Risk
You’ve been active or moving and have calf discomfort accompanied by swollen ankles. This combination is usually not a cause for concern and is most likely caused by a pulled muscle.
Yellow Zone: Medium Risk
You’ve been sedentary, perhaps traveling and sitting in a confined position. In these situations, make sure you maintain healthy leg circulation by getting up every once in a while and moving around or simply moving your legs while seated.
Red Zone: Highest Risk
If your leg gets red and warm, call your doctor who may order an ultrasound, a simple noninvasive test that will determine what’s going on.