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When should I worry about leg pain?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Leg pain 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: Is Your Leg Pain a Sign of DVT?

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, do this test: Take one hand and squeeze the back of your calf. If you experience pain, this could be a major red flag for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Call your doctor, who will most likely order an ultrasound, a simple noninvasive test that will determine what’s going on.
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.