T is for Thrombosis

Thrombosis is a blood clot that forms within a blood vessel and restricts blood flow. There are various causes and types of thrombosis, here we look at DVT – Deep Vein Thrombosis:

What is DVT?
This condition occurs when a vein is blocked by a blood clot. The risk factors leading to it can be many, including physical trauma, varicose veins, local infection, reduced circulation, immobility, pregnancy/childbirth, some types of cancer, surgery, certain contraceptive pills or other factors such as smoking or cardiovascular disease.

Signs & Symptoms
The most common things are pain, heat, redness, localised itchiness, swelling and the affected vein feeling hard. Pitting edema is also possible – this is evident when you press on the swelling and it doesn’t bounce back, instead staying ‘pitted’. There may also be discolouration, and activity or standing for long periods may increase pain. Unlike a muscular strain where pain is more likely to be felt during activity, the pain felt with DVT can be present even at rest.

Can I have massage if I have a DVT?
Deep Vein Thrombosis is a systemic or global contraindication. Put simply, if you have this condition then you should not have massage treatment anywhere on your body. The reason for this is that any type of soft tissue therapy (even away from the site of the clot) could dislodge the blood clot and lead to a pulmonary embolism (a blockage of the main artery of the lung). If you suspect you have a DVT you should seek medical assistance immediately.

If your circulation is impeded in any way then massage is not appropriate as the circulatory system is not capable of dealing with the internal physiological changes. Thankfully this is a very rare condition, but our therapists are trained to be aware of the signs and if we ever do come across them then we would stop treatment immediately and advise the client to seek medical attention immediately.

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