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What Does It Mean If I Have Pain And Tightness In My Calves?

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I've been dealing with this myself, and have come up with a few answers.

It may be due to prolonged periods of inactivity. Do you sit at a desk without moving your legs for hours? Do you lay in bed for long periods of time? Try walking around for a few minutes every hour.

However, it may be something more sinister. While it is most likely to occur in women over 35 who smoke, tightness or pain, especially in the left calf, and especially if it radiates downward, may be a sign of Deep Vein Thrombosis. While rare, it can be life-threatening. It happens when the blood is too thick, especially in the presence of some sort of damage to the veins in the hip and legs. A clot slowly begins to form, causing increased pain. It becomes life-threatening when the clot breaks off and travels to a crucial organ like the heart, brain, or especially the lung.

If it is DVT (again, a fairly rare condition), it is often accompanied by a warm sensation in the affected calf, as well as a measurably larger circumference. A doctor can rule this condition out with a simple examination followed by a blood test known as a "D-dimer".

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