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Massage/Heat - possible while on warfarin?

Just diagnosed with dvt, and advised against massage by my doctor.
Obviously massaging the affected area could risk dislodging the clot but what I'm wondering is it fine while on Warfarin to massage the rest of my body?

I regularly have neck and shoulder pain (too much computer time I think) and get massage which helps greatly. Is it safe to continue this or could warfarin introduce some other potential problems?

I'm aghast at the idea that this diagnosis (if I need long-term Warfarin) may mean no massage for life!

Similarly hot baths/saunas - makes the body relax and feel good, but could it be at all dangerous while on Warfarin?

Would be interested to hear what others have experienced or been advised on this.

Replies

MSM24
MSM24

well when i was on warfin I had very easy buising (even when within theroputic range). My brother-law just pocked me and I had a bruise the size of his finger. there for i never would have been able to have a message. I think you have to know what your reaction is to the medicine. Also ask your doctor. Now, on lovenox my friend messages my neck and back all the time just not too rough. I still bruise easy but a message doesnt cause it but i would be careful with professonals because they may be too rough. this is just my opinion like I said i would ask a doctor.
MSM24
MSM24

i was never advised to not be in a hot bath. i have been in a hot tub but i had a PE this may be different because once the clot is in your lungs its pretty much stuck there and wont move elsewhere.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Paul,
Be VERY careful about massages and your leg !! I did this (not knowing I had a DVT at the time) and it broke off and travelled into my knee. I was told that I was really lucky that I didn't die on the massage table, considering the size of the clot in my knee! I have neck tension too from my job, but right now I'm not too worried about it or massages until my leg is in the clear...its too risky and scary.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks for comments.

I agree that it's probably VERY dangerous to massage my leg (or perhaps both legs, even my "good" one). Definitely won't be doing that and like you, Treasaigh, I wonder if I'm lucky to still be around - I went long-distance cycling and mountain hiking for 4 days before I was diagnosed with DVT.

The strange thing is that the exercise seemed to alleviate most of the pain, so I'm still confused about that....
deleted_user
deleted_user

MSM24: "i was NEVER advised to NOT be in a hot bath"

Just to confirm - that means as far as you know, hot baths are fine, ok and safe, right?
manderpants
manderpants

I was told by the nurse at my anti-coagulation clinic to avoid hot baths, but I was told by my pharmacist at the same clinic that heating pads are ok.

As for massage I was told absolutely not for at least three months (post diagnosis.) I bruise so badly now that I wouldn't even chance it while on warfarin though.
deleted_user
deleted_user

So it seems that people have been advised different things regarding baths - so that suggests it's a matter of doctors' opinion rather than a proven fact.
In Tokyo most people have hot (very hot) baths rather than showers every night before bed, a wonderfully relaxing habit which I've taken to myself.
Heat tends to open up the veins and ease blood flow right, so I'd imagine it's a good thing....
MSM24
MSM24

I might would wait until you were in theroputic range (if you arent on a lovenox or something that works) but as far as I know hot bath are fine but I would ask your doctor to make sure.
deleted_user
deleted_user

hey Paul , while vacationing in Virginia in the midst of a summer heatwave I took a steambath while on warfarin ,I also was on my "cycle" so I couldn't really enjoy the jacuzzi in my condo ( warfarin made my "cycle" extremely painful and looooong from an average 1-2 day cycle to a 14 day cycle)so I thought the steambath would be a great alternative to the jacuzzi , How wrong was I . I spent the majority of my time that summer in hospital , apparently what happens is the steam/hot water/ expands our veins allowing for a more "natural" flow of the blood through the veins dislodging clots into the bloodstream , one clot traveled through my lungs , I have never felt such pain in my lifetime! I couldn't breath either so I had a machine breath for me , I am accustomed to pneumonia which I contract every year and the pain was worse than that even! it took three days to completely pass and eventually settle in my lower calf , I was very lucky ,so they tell me. but the side effects of warfarin for this one was just too ridiculous. As for the massages they need be completely ruled OUT of your weekly/monthly relaxation technique and find an alternative to them because even though you are massaging your upper body it will then transfer a fresh flow of blood to your lower extremities again causing the possibility of dislodging your clot back up! try yoga :-) its painful and awkward at first but amazingly theraputic for tension as well as a weight control but not as stressful to the bloodstream , I too use exersice , biking/running/swimming to alleviate the discomfort in my legs and no matter a doctor tells me NO i have found it benificial! I also went into alternative medicine rather than that crazy warfarin bloodthinner which is extremely dangerous in the long term as well as to klutzy peoples like myself who is always bruising and cutting something open .In the year I was on warfarin I was hospitalized 3x for the blood lose alone, even regulated the drug is scary , I chose a simple aspirin regime (amazing) as well as exercise and have not had a recurrance in 2 years! my mother died from blood clots to her brain at age 58 a month after I was diagnosed with the same condition . and i DO still eat my greens (i'm a vegen) . there is a also a chinese remedy that "eats" the residual clots and detoxifies your body at the same time , the one clot that gave me such trouble has simply "disapeared" off the scans completely ,, i'll keep you all posted on that as it takes a full year to see all the results as in any alternative treatment does :-) . stay fit happy and healthy !
deleted_user
deleted_user

I had a massage in December, 3.5 months after my diagnosis. Everything was fine. I had been on coumadin in the therapeutic range for awhile so there was no risk of it traveling or breaking off. I have also been taking hot baths on a nightly basis. My hematologist said it is fine, once you are past the acute phase and the INR is therapeutic. The heat is actually soothing for the pain and I have found it is the most enjoyable part of the day! I wouldn't attempt anything like massage or hot baths if your INR isn't therapeutic and if you are still in the acute phase b/c that time is just too dangerous. Otherwise, I think it is okay, but like everything else, the best advice probably comes from your doctor.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks for the comments...

Yes, Tishpoo, listening to the doctor is my first line of action. I guess also that different countries means different doctors' training - I'm in Japan where most people take hot baths every night .
Latest recomendation from the doc (2nd doctor at the same hospital) - taking hot baths is fine, but just don't take super-hot ones.
Remember too that I was diagnosed 3 weeks after the clot formed, so possibly already past the really dangerous time.

The second doctor told me massage of the upper body should be fine too, just not to go in really hard and deep (maybe a bruising risk while on warfarin?).

Unscripted, nice to hear you're doing fine still eating greens and not going heavily into the warfarin route.
As for your advice on Yoga, perhaps after so many years of thinking "ahhh, yoga sounds like a good idea" this may be a final inspiration to actually start doing it. Thanks for reminding me!
deleted_user
deleted_user

UNSCRIPTED.... tell me about this chinese clot eater! I am intreigued!

Thanks :-)
deleted_user
deleted_user

My doc advised against the heating pad when my clot was active. Same reasons as stated here, the heat can cause too much blood flow and bring about a PE. I was advised cold packs for pain relief.

Ultimately, the decision is for the doc.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I had a broken leg went in to have the cast changed and told them about the pain behind my knee the swelling and that i was running a temp. They took off the cast and massage the back of my knee. I was back in to see the doctror within 2 days the pain moved from the knee to my groin. It was then they did the ultra sound and said I had a DVT. Sorry about going off. No dont massage!
deleted_user
deleted_user

@Unscripted. Could you share with us the name of that chinese medicine or the doctor who prescribed it?