What does a blood clot feel like?

Home » Read our Blog - Siragusa Vein and Laser Center » What does a blood clot feel like?

Blood clots are important when you get a cut. Rather than losing large amounts of blood from a small paper cut, platelets bind together with your blood to stop the flow of blood.

While blood clots are necessary to stop you from losing too much blood from a cut or laceration, sometimes this process can go wrong.

For example, when blood clots don’t break apart inside veins, this can lead to a number of problems and undesirable symptoms.

What is a blood clot?

A blood clot in terms of medical conditions is when blood won’t break up in veins or arteries within the body. A blood clot in the arteries, for example, is very serious, as it can prevent oxygen from reaching your vital organs like your lungs, brain, and heart. In serious conditions like a blood clot in the arteries, the effects can be life-threatening and lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Blood clots in the veins are called venous thromboembolism (VTE). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that blood clots affect 900,000 people every year in the U.S.

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), is a condition characterized by blood clots in the deep veins in the body, like the legs.

Symptoms of blood clots

Blood clots can happen anywhere in the body. Depending on where the blood clot is located and the severity of the blood clot, the symptoms can vary slightly. Below, we’ll answer the question, “what does a blood clot feel like in different areas of the body?”

Blood clots in the legs and arms

  • Swelling of the legs and arms: The part of your leg or arm affected by the blood clot may swell, or the entire limb may puff up.
  • Leg and arm pain, soreness, and cramping that radiates out from the calf: The pain can range from mild pain to intense pain. Pain throbs can come from your legs, arms, or stomach.
  • Change in skin color of the leg: the leg may change to a red or purple color and get itchy.
  • Warmth radiates out from the leg around where the blood clot is.
  • Pitting edema: DVT can cause the buildup of fluid in the arms or legs, this is known as edema. If you press down on the swollen area, you’ll notice a pit or dimple that remains for a few seconds.
  • Trouble breathing: If you have trouble breathing as a result of a blood clot, it could mean that the clot has moved from your arm or leg to your lungs. You may also get a bad cough that is accompanied by coughing up blood. You may also feel pain in your chest and experience dizziness. If you have any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Swollen, painful veins that hurt to the touch.


A blood clot in the heart can lead to a heart attack, if you have any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical assistance:

  • Intense pain in your arm or chest
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sweating


A blood clot in the lungs often originates from a blood clot in the arm or leg that breaks away and reaches your lungs. A blood clot in the lungs is called a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal if not treated. Seek immediate medical assistance if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness


Blood clots in the brain can be caused by a hit to your head that leads to a concussion, or fatty deposits in the walls of your blood vessels that deliver blood to the brain. Blood clots in the brain can also be caused by a blood clot in another part of your body traveling to the brain.

Blood clots in the brain can lead to a stroke. The following symptoms may be indicative of a blood clot in the brain:

  • Issues with speech or vision
  • Feeling of weakness
  • Seizures


If you have the following symptoms, tell a medical professional:

  • Bloody stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling bloated
  • Vomiting/nausea
  • Intense pain in your belly, especially after eating


Blood clots in your kidneys can cause high blood pressure or kidney failure. Watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Pain in your sides, thighs, or legs
  • Fever
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Trouble breathing
  • Blood in the urine
  • High blood pressure

Siragusa’s vein clinic in nashville

If varicose veins are causing you health problems, schedule a consult with us right away. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the middle of winter or July here in Nashville, TN. We’ll plan out a course of vein treatment to help you deal with varicose veins, spider veins, or DVT.

Getting Your Insurance To Cover Your Vein Treatment

Many of our patients are very surprised to learn that Insurance often covers the treatment of symptomatic spider veins. The insurance specialists at Siragusa Vein and Laser have compiled a list of ways to get your insurance provider to cover your treatment.

Take The First Step

If you are ready to stop hiding your legs and dealing with the embarrassment of spider veins, let Dr. Siragusa and his team get you back to loving your legs and living your life.