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Pain relief for d.v.t.
Started by Marika
Posted: April 15, 2008 at 23:53
My husband (68) has had a d.v.t. in his calf for 1 week. He is in agony if he does anything other than sitting with his leg elevated. He is taking Tramacet (Tramadol + paracetamol) but to be honest it only helps for a relatively short while. Is there anything else which might be more effective? And - will the pain lessen when his INR reaches the right level, or is it determined by something else? Please help...
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #1 by Sharon
Posted: April 16, 2008 at 04:08
Hey Marika--

Where is the DVT? Is it in the calf, thigh, arm or elsewhere? Is this his first or a recurrence? Does he have a vascular surgeon or an intervention radiologist?

The pain is from the leg not having sufficient blood flow and oxygen that comes w/ the blood. Portions of his leg are deprived of needed sustanence. Being therapeutic on Coumadin/Warfarin (same thing) will not affect this unfortunately. The anticoagulants do nothing to dissolve clot and restore flow. I am sorry to be the bearer of difficult news, but I always wanted true and accurate info when I was in that situtation.

That said--his body is already working to expand the collateral veins in the area of his leg where the clot is located in order to restore sufficient flow--so the pain will get better over time. His body is also working on the clot to stabilize it in his leg by covering it w/ fibrin to prevent it from breaking loose. It is not advisable to have much activity (not that you want to when you are in excrutiating pain) until his doc says it is okay--usually several weeks. Not that he should be absolutely immobile either--many clots are formed from being sedantary. He should not cross his legs--not even at the ankles or sit very long where there is pressure created on any part of his legs that may restrict flow and promote another clot.

If his clotting episode is new--in the first week I believe you said--and the DVT is located in his thigh--ask for a consult with a vascular surgeon or an intervention radiologist who may be able to perform a thromolysis procedure to place a catheter in the vein that is clotted and shoot Tpa (very strong anticoagulant into the clot to dissolve it). You would want this done at a major medical center where they do it routinely, not a small regional hospital. They will not attempt it on a clot in the calf--only the thigh and I think I have read others who say they have had it done on the iliac vein, but I can't swear to that.

As far as medications--I am in the U.S. and those meds you mention do not ring a bell--so I don't know what they are. I was given Hydrocodone and/or Vicodin. They only took the edge off the pain. The trick is not to allow the meds to wear off. I learned that as long as you have pain, you cannot become addicted to pain meds--per several of my docs bcs I was concerned about that (hospitalized for 40 days). They told me if I let the meds wear off trying 'to tough it out' that it would take longer for the meds to work and they would not have as much effect when they did start working. They advised me to take it on schedule during the first weeks of my DVT and not let the pain become established. I regretted each time I violated this advice.

I'm sorry for your husband's pain and the struggle it must be for you to watch it as well. My husband went thru it too and I honestly think it may be harder on the spouse than it is for us--at least we get some pain meds! LOL! --Now remember, if you have thoughts of pilfering any of his drugs--that one can become addicted if one takes them w/o physical pain!

I believe in finding ways to laugh during trials whenever we can. I hope you are not offended by my odd sort of humor. Take care--I have prayed for you and your husband.
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #2 by Diane
Posted: April 16, 2008 at 04:57

I had Oxycodone for several months after my DVT. My vascular surgeon told me there are a whole lot of nerves inside the veins and they have been quite roughed up from the DVT. Not sure I have the correct mental picture, but I did experience a terrible pain for a very long time.

I am now living in Canada and my GP prescribed Tramacet for my gallbladder attacks while I am awaiting surgery. I have noticed that Tramacet is not as powerful as the stronger narcotics that I had with my DVT and knee replacement surgery.

I would ask for something much stronger for your husband. As bad a rap as narcotics take with people so fearful of addiction, I have learned that they are much easier on your entire system (stomach included) than the weaker drugs such as Tylenol with Codeine.

Marika, try to get him strong narcotics because he is very early in his recovery process and he needs all the help he can get to take the edge off his suffering. Why the medical community withholds help when it is available in the form of these drugs is a mystery to me. I've had a lot of narcotics over the past 3 1/2 years, and I am certainly not addicted, nor would I ever be addicted. I like a clear head when I am feeling well, but not when I'm experiencing the kind of agony your husband is having.

Take care, it is a long healing process after a DVT. It takes an emotional toll as well.
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #3 by Marika
Posted: April 16, 2008 at 16:01
Hi Sharon and Diane

Thank you SO much for your responses and advice. It's certainly a help to me in supporting my husband. It's his first d.v.t. in his right calf, and came on 10 days after flying back to u.k. from Miami. However he's been having pains in this leg for several months and, in retrospect, we think perhaps it's been building up over time. Thank goodness for the internet and finding sites like this one because I felt ridiculously ignorant...clearly we have to be very patient. The doctor has now given him paracetamol and codeine phosphate so we'll see how this works. Thanks again for taking the time to share your experiences.
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #4 by shawnee
Posted: April 17, 2008
I am 30yr old female. Not overweight, don't smoke,don't drink. I do sit on a hard uncomfy chair at my computer for many hours. Different times my butt would feel numb and tingle. I would just get up for a short moment or wiggle back and forth and then sit indian style on the chair.
For the last 3-4 days now i have been having some left leg pain. Began in the butt cheak and then it felt tingley,numb and painfull to press on. Sort of like a bruise. It did come on sudden after standing up from my chair. It began feeling painfull in the bottom crease of buttocks and i kept pushing on it and examining it, which i think may have irratated it even more. The pain then going down to the back of my thigh and hurt really bad to push on it or to stretch it out. Now today the pain is in the back of the knee and down my calf. It hurts to put weight on it sometimes and is uncomfortable to walk on at times. I was so scared that it may have been a clot. Went to ER and they said they seen no reasons to beleive that it was a clot so they did no tests. The pushed on it and i about jumped off the table. They had my bend my leg up to my chest and asked if it hurt which did not. Certain other ways i stretch it hurts. When i stretch my calf out it hurts.
There is no redness and dr. and i don't see any swelling or anything like that. Although sometimes it feels like its warm but on the inside and the skin is not.
My skin is very very sensitive also. Like having the flu when you can't stand your skin being touched.
Could i have a blood clot in the legs?
Dr. wants me to wait untill one week and see if it's any better w/taking ibbproffen. If it does get better and there is no more pain does that mean that there was and is no clot?
How can i tell if this is just muscle related?
There has been leg tingleing and pins and needle feelings in it when sitting in a car for a 20 min drive or sitting at my computer.
I am sooooo scared. I was already diagnosed couple months ago w/mild 3 leaky heart valves. I am on propranolol for my racing heart too.
Could someone get a blood clot because of leaky heart valves?
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #5 by Sharon
Posted: April 17, 2008 at 05:10

You are quite welcome. It may be some encouragement for him to know that calf DVT is less dangerous than one in the thigh. In addition, it was my experience anyway--that it took much less time for my calf pain to subside than the thigh pain did. My DVT was from groin to ankle. I hope his pain subsides very soon.


I answered you in the other post. I hope you will try to relax. I know that when one discovers a medical problem--like your valve problems--that it is very scary and it is natural for the anxiety to run very high. Try to put your trust in God and let Him comfort your heart. II Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind." I hope you can take comfort.
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #6 by Bill
Posted: May 15, 2008 at 07:29
Hey Everyone,

I am a 33 year old avergae weight it manager that was just diagnosed with DVT in the thigh. Pain started out in the ankle and had puffiness and discoloration. The doctor at Kaiser said it was gout cancelled my ultrsound and sent me on my way with all the wrong meds. As the pain level reached a point where I bought a cane and could barely shower he finally did some blood tests. Guess what? Gout was way off, one emergency ultrasound later and a huge clot was found in my thigh in under 5 mins. Rushed to emergency then waited for an hour for someone to help me. I was put on thinners and shots to the stomach. Vicodin was given, I was popping vicodin like altoids with no relief, moved to Norcos, still pain beyond belief. Now on Oxycodone and valium, with norco for a punch if needed. If you are in pain get the best we have the technology and no longer need to bite on a pieceof leather or chug whiskey for relief. My doctor needed to be prodded to finally give me something that worked. I AM A 205 POUND MAN THAT HAS HAS KIDNEY STONES AND I WAS CRYING JUST WAITING IN LINE TO GET TO SEE THE DOCTOR, DVT HURTS!!!! Get whatever it takes to make your quality of life as norml as possible.

Shawnee: Do not wait for some dr that is trying to save the hmo or ppo money. Your life is worth fighting for and unfortunately you have to do that somtimes. If I would have sat around and kept taking all the gout meds and diet he gave I would have had a stroke or a clot in the lung for sure and would not be writing this now. Be peristent and demand to be treated like a human being and not a number. Prayer is great and does cause miracles but you need to take care of yourself my friend. Please listen to your body it will let you know if something isn't right.
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #7 by Sharon
Posted: May 16, 2008 at 07:25
Hey Bill--

I know reading just the reply to Shawnee above may seem trite, but she was appearing very panicked and putting that same post on several threads. I gave her basically the same advice--tho if memory serves, she had already had a Dopplar ultrasound. I have not heard the outcome from her yet if she did have another US.

I agree w/ you on the pain meds. We cannot become addicted as long as we only take them when we have pain. I've had many painful events in my life, not the least of which were a copperhead snake bite--the poison feels almost just like my DVT did, and a 31 hour labor. I cried more w/ the DVT when nurses w/ major control issues would take there time getting my regular dose and let the pain take hold again. Best not to do that--hold the pain at bay.
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #8 by Bill
Posted: May 25, 2008 at 03:38
Hey Sharon,

Thank you for the heads up:) I just have heard and experienced so many horror stories about our medical system failing us and felt bad after eading the story.

A copperhead bite? :-0 Wow!!!!!!! That is gnarly!!!

I know many of us pay weekly in our paychecks for years for med coverage and never use it. Then something hits us like a bolt of lightning. I am healthy most of the time, I save it all up for something really exciting.
Kidney Stones at 23, then twice at 24. The first time I was left in the emrgency room for 3 hours without any treatment or even a tylenol. I ended up rolling off my gourney then crawling across the floor with only my arms to where I believe they kept the medicine. This finally got some attention and I was dosed up with demoral. My baby stone was born a few hours later:)
Shingles greeted me when I turned 29. The shingles at 29, seriously, I had to have pissed someone off in a past life.

Now DVT at 33, I have had my share of pain and all the different pain meds they give out. Use the meds to help heal your pain when in full infliction mode, but try to take a little pain as the infliction starts to heal. That way you don't end up on some talk show about how your life was ruined by becoming addicted to pharmacuticals.

Wow, I have never written on a site like this but it is really helping me get through this. Having my family make me foods I can't eat because of vitamin k and everything is nice but truly knowing someone else is going through the same things gives me strength and sense of kinship. Thank you all on this board for being here. Good luck and I wish us all a positive outlook and smooth sailings.

Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #9 by Janine Renee'
Posted: May 26, 2008 at 01:57
I have been having quiet a bit of pain lately myself. When It get too bad to stand it & go and lay down a bit. The dr has not ever gave me pain meds. This last one in Feb while in the hospital they had Tylenol on my chart for pain..
I LAUGHED at the nurse. I have Darvocett on hand from another dr after ankle surgery and I take that when it's really really bad. I just take Tylenol most of the time. I try not to take much pain meds. It makes me crazy...Or crazier should I say...LOL I have an appt with a new dr on June 3rd & I think I will ask him for something for pain. I don't think they understand just how painful DVT is...
especially being this is my 5th..
Well take care and best of luck to all of you...

Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #10 by Faye
Posted: July 12, 2008 at 20:44
Hello Marika

I was also in agomy if my legs were anything below elevated and believe me, it was agony beyond what I had ever expected. I was in hospital still at one week on, I had tramadol and thought it was very disappointing, no relief, same goes for oramorph, only thing that sorted my pain was IV morphine in boluses (i.e. straight in, not infused). Further to that I took 1 gramme of paracetamol 4 times over 24 hours and 60 mg of codeine phosphate with every gramme of paracetamol. The maximum daily dose of both. The pain was IMMENSE I was stunned at how bad it was. But it will or should get better as the body begins to lyse the clots. Make sure your man gets plenty of fibre and fluids too as the highway to constipation is usually inevitable due to the pain killers esp. the opiate based ones.

My DVTs are from liver level down through pelvis through thighs to ankle. A bilateral big monster! Sorry to those who knew that already from the other forum strings. I have looked after people with DVTs and had no idea how bad the pain was. It is really, really bad! But when it goes it is really, really good!

Hope things are picking up.

Bill-you are about same age as me, I am 30, I think its really good to see other people's stories. Its a crazy thing to happen to you, DVT. You have to get back up and at it and that is made easier somehow knowing that you are not on your own, I find most of the people at my anti coag clinic have white hair so I do feel quite isolated! The net is a good way to connect and find similarities. We're human, it makes us feel better to be social about things I think. Including illness. Thats my thought for the day! Hope everyone is OK.
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #11 by Janine Renee
Posted: July 12, 2008 at 21:25
My goodness Faye!! Did that happen after surgery?? Are you going thru this at the present time? I would call your DVT a monster also... Best of Luck in The Future..
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #12 by susie
Posted: July 12, 2008 at 23:20
hi marika
im also in agony with my lower dvt elavating does help i went back to doc twice to get pain killers i tried paracetomals but they done nothing im now on co-drydamol which i try only to take in evenings but ive noticed i need them more during day now, little walks everyday helps , but everyone is different as you prob discovered after reading this forum, actually my leg hurts more than the begining has anybody else had that happen ?
hope your hubby feels better soon

Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #13 by Faye
Posted: July 13, 2008 at 20:30
Thanks Janine! I have had to try and befriend my monster - like Monsters Inc (Disney/Pixar). He doesn't live in the wardrobe, I am going through it now yes. It wasn't related to surgery, I have an occluded inferior vena cavae (apols to all who are yawning cos they have heard my tale before!!) which I may have had since birth. Have been well for years, 30 to be precise before this happened.

I wouldnt' say the pain got worse (in response to Susie, last post) but it did change through the months before it went, pretty much completely. I have a good dose of the post-thrombo itch tho!! I keep my stockings on in hope that it might get better, some days it is. The body is in a state of flux all the time so it is reasonable to have hope in improvements in pain, itching, swelling etc. Some people resign themselves to the pain and believe they will have post-thrombotic syndrome forever, thats fine, its their choice but it is reasonable to hope that pain will improve. The body doesn't stand still. Pun not intended!

Re: pain getting worse - my swelling goes through phases where it gets worse then gets better than it was before! It has happened 3 times now - has that happened to anyone else?? Its like 4 steps backwards, 3 forward, 2 backward, 5 forward! Some sort of DVT dance!

I have a repeat MRI scan this week, won't get the results for a while though. Mainly to see my renal thrombosis recovery progress, if there has been any.

Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #14 by susie
Posted: July 13, 2008 at 22:55
hi faye
are you saying that when you have itching the clot has gone and your recovering?

good luck with scan this week
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #15 by Janine Renee
Posted: July 14, 2008
Wow Faye. I get down being on my 5th clot. I guess I need to bite my lip, considering what you have been thru.
I pretty much always have pain.. I have started taking pain meds from time to time, dont want to depend on that.
I try to keep going, but I cannot do like I used to, that's for sure. Your story is scarey. I just had a IVC placed in March 08. I try not to think of it getting occulded, but I do worry about it!! Iam now on Arixtra injections, so hopefully I will NEVER have another DVT..
Best of Luck to all of you:)
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #16 by Faye
Posted: July 14, 2008 at 09:36
Hi Susie - no the itching has no pattern, the swelling seems to plod along, then get FAR worse, then get better than it was before. Score it from 1 to 5 with 5 as super swell its like 3 for weeks, then goes to 5 for a few horrible days, then goes to 1! Hurray! And each time it maintains the new momentum.

I know the clots haven't gone sadly, they sad they wouldn't ever go just lyse and become part of me (oh joy!).

But I have to look at it from a holistic recovery point of view that is how does it affect my life, my mobility, my frame of mind etc. Its not a simple case of clot gone all better - how good would THAT be!!

Thank you for your good wishes for the scan. Think I will be cheeky and ask for Radio 4 afternoon play on headphones. Its a long time to stay still - breathe out, hold, breathe again!

Janine - you don't need to bite your lip, its your experience! In that case I need to bite my lip for every woman who has breast cancer, every 30 year old with leukaemia and so on. I just respect people with chronic illness more and more. I am really sad to hear that you have chronic pain. Don't be scared of pain relief. Its all about personal choice though. If I had to take pain relief everyday I would because I would rather do that than become depressed or miss out on life because "it hurts". But we are all individuals. We all manage our own risks and work out what is best for us.

I hope you Arixtra keeps your future bright! X
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #17 by susie
Posted: July 14, 2008 at 22:15
hi faye

i think i will take a leaf out of your book faye the holistic part i like that way of thinking its very positive and calming,
be cheeky and ask for radio 4 ha ha im sure they will assist you :-)
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #18 by GKR
Posted: November 11, 2010 at 16:57
Hi everyone, I have had a muscle pull on the the right and sometime left calf once in a while and always its in sleep,i wake up with pain and after rubbing for few mins it goes away. 5 years back during preg i experienced it more.today all of a sudden i screamed like hell and woke up everyone and had them on both calves and was breathless and sweating and took an hr to get a bit normal and took 2 ibuprofen and then could walk. after 4 hrs now the pain n pressure on teh calfs is a still there and they are so hard. does anyone have DVT pain in sleep?
Re: Pain relief for d.v.t.
Reply #19 by pain relief for dvt
Posted: November 17, 2010 at 08:09
Hi, I'm 31, 6' 1", approximately 205 lbs. I have dvt in my left leg, immediately behind my knee (right where my leg folds). I have never in my life experienced pain like I am going thru now. The clot occurred due to a left calf muscle strain suffered 2+ weeks ago after running a few miles on the treadmill. I was hospitalized for 2 days and basically did nothing but try to avoid moving my leg because even the slightest change in position would cause me such excruciating pain it felt like I was going to faint. I started on Lovenox 60mg, every 12 hours a few days ago. It is a shot which I inject myself into my stomach. I am also taking Coumadin 5mg, once a day. The dr advised that I continue taking both meds until they are able to balance the Coumidan levels with my blood. Once that is settled, I will stop taking the Lovenox shots and move forward with only the Coumadin. After 2 days at the hospital I asked that they discharge me, considering there was no point in staying there since I can do what I was doing there from home. The hospital agreed and allowed me to come home so long as I took my meds and promised to return immediately if I experience trouble breathing. I have been home for 1 day now and it seems as if my leg is becoming more painful and less mobile/flexible as the days go on. Im supposed to take oxycodine for the pain every 6 hours, but I swear by hour 4 it stops working and the pain immediately kicks in. My leg feels like a limb growing out of my body that has no use except to provide me with the worst pain I have ever experienced. Ive had shoulder surgery to fix 2 labrum tears and a bone spur and NOTHING hurts quite like this. I dont know what to do and I dont know how long this is supposed to last. The pain can be so much sometimes that I start sweating and get light headed until I can take a pain med and calm it down. How long is this expected to last? Ive tried the warm wet compress which helps for nothing more than 5 seconds of pain relief. Is it natural that my leg is becoming lex flexible (considering the location of the clot)? Please help with any advice you may have.
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