DVT and BJJ..

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Solidus Snake, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Solidus Snake

    Solidus Snake Purple Belt

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    Hey guys.

    Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with this stuff some months ago.
    Basically, just to briefly explain what deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is.. it's the blood clotting in a deep vein. Of the leg, in my case. After a training session (I train Bjj, as you can deduct from the title) I sensed some deep pain in my calf and some insensibility in my foot.. and surprise surprise, the ecodoppler gave me this unexpected diagnosis.

    It's still unknown if in my case it was caused by genetic conditions or by some other reason, there are literally too other much. And since now I'm under anticoagulants (coumadin) for at least another month before the next check, there is no way to know anyway until I'll complete the cure (it could easily go up to other additionally three months or even more, no way to know it now again).

    Anyway.. let's leave aside for a moment the depression from all this situation and the horrible sense that my Bjj path may be already arrived at the end.. I just want to know if some of you guys gone through this stuff and came out of it. Or not. Whatever.. I would like to just hear if somebody that trains bjj (or wrestling and judo of course) have/had/is having some experience with this condition and would like to share.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. ILikeDogging

    ILikeDogging Blue Belt

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    Hopefully when you get off anti-coagulants you'll be good to go. Sorry to hear about your experience. You could try getting into something else to replace BJJ while you are on treatment.
     
  3. shunyata

    shunyata Red Belt

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    Training is certainly a no go with DVT.

    If you can get the clots cleared out, strengthen the vessels, and safely come off the anti coagulants you could come back to training but not while the clots are in there.

    Nobody likes a training partner having a stroke during a roll.


    I've worked with patients who have had it. Most of those cases were related to obesity or vascular damage from chemotherapy. Those who were still strong and exercised and were active generally recovered. Those who were elderly, frail, and or quite overweight and did not change their lifestyle / activity level generally had more minimal progress. Talk to your Dr about what activities are kosher given the clot location / severity and if PT would be helpful in your case, but generally contact sports of any kind are out of the question.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
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  4. Solidus Snake

    Solidus Snake Purple Belt

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    Thanks man.

    For the moment, I can't seem to drive myself to other significant sport activities (weight lifting, running and such), but obviously if time will protract or other stuff will happen, I'll consider it.


    Thanks for your post. It's interesting to hear from somebody who have some experience in this field.. I didn't even know that I could strenghten my vessels, for example. Hope it will be of some use in the future.

    Don't worry, anyway.. I should have specificied it in the OP, but I wasn't looking for suggestions on how to train with all this stuff going on, as I already talked plenty with my doctors and I fully know that I can't absolutely train anything even remotely full contact right now.
     
  5. billzar

    billzar Yellow Belt

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    Hmm, weird you would get a DVT if you train BJJ, unless you have a clotting disorder. People get DVT's because of not moving (you hear about people getting them on long airplane rides), because of medications like the birth control pill, genetics, or a combo of factors.

    You've probably taken at least six months off and the tests haven't shown anything yet?

    Sorry man, wish you the best. That sucks.
     
  6. 196osh

    196osh Orange Belt

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    Were you sitting still for a period of time on a flight or a long drive as a passenger? It is incredibly rare for a DVT to develop with no immobility.

    You can train BJJ on Warfrin. It shouldn't be an issue, it wont make you bleed like a tap.

    More to the point you should regularly be getting your blood checked (INR) as in every week minimum.
     
  7. ILikeDogging

    ILikeDogging Blue Belt

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    You sure'You can train BJJ on Warfrin'. I'm not convinced that is safe. Check with your doc.
     
  8. trn450

    trn450 Orange Belt

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    Interesting to see an active person get a DVT. Did you have any travel or surgery recently? How old are you? Anybody in the family have DVT's?

    Basically, to the best of our knowledge we look to Virchow's triad for an explanation as to why someone might get a DVT. That is,

    1. hypercoagulable state (e.g. genetic disorder, birth control, lupus, etc.)
    2. venous stasis (e.g. sitting on an airplane, a car, or really any other sitting for extended periods of time)
    3. Endothelial dysfunction (e.g. smoking damages the blood vessels and makes them more likely to clot).

    Now, you don't have to worry about a "stroke" as someone mentioned earlier. All veins lead back to the heart, and then the pulmonary arteries directly blood directly to the lungs, which serve as a natural filter for emboli so they don't make it to your brain. The only exception to this is when someone has a defect in one of their heart walls (usually an atrial septal defect) and the clot can transition from the right heart circulation (which leads to the lungs) to the left side (which leads to the brain and all other tissues). But, if it's a large enough DVT to be symptomatic, what they're worried about is that it might embolize to the lungs and lead to a whole large segment of the lungs where you don't get gas exchange. Small emboli aren't a big deal because we can tolerate that insult, large ones create problems. Very large ones can even effect the heart. We all have small pulmonary emobli all of the time, but large ones can be dangerous. So, they treat it.

    Please read: As for training on warfarin, I'd definitely recommend against it. I know this isn't boxing, but there are still times where you receive minor head trauma in BJJ. This minor head trauma might lead to an intracranial bleeding emergency. If you bleed from any other site, that's not really a huge deal over all--typically the INR is in the range of 2-3 and I'm confident that a person with a bleed would be able to recover if not with pressure, defintely with minor intervention. I've seen interventional radiologists work wonders on people in full-blow DIC (where people basically ooze blood through mucous membranes, let alone cuts). But, the brain bleeds are a different story as they require neurosurgical intervention, and the rapid increase in intracranial pressure in a close space (the skull) can be very dangerous.

    After you complete your course of warfarin, do your best to minimize all modifiable factors in Virchows triad. In short, that means be very active. Don't sit for more than 2hrs at a time (I'd say get up and move as often as possible). Don't smoke, eat healtfully (keep that endothelium health) and stay lean (although obesity isn't officially listed in many cases as a cause of DVT, body fat converts androgens to estrogens, and it's the estrogen in birth control pills that leads to hypercoagulability). If you have another DVT, you could end up on anticoagulation for life.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
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  9. marian

    marian Orange Belt

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    So, I don't have any personal experience but my sister has had a couple of DVTs. When she got her first one we thought it was pretty weird because she is super active & super healthy. She runs over 30miles a week, she's very lean & at the bottom of the weight charts for her height (she's 1.5 inches taller than me & ~15lbs lighter than me), and she eats loads of veggies.

    Turns out she has Factor V Lieden, which is a pretty common heritable hypercoagulability disorder among people of (Northern) European descent. Thankfully, it seems like it's not something I have to worry about as I haven't developed a DVT or anything like that.

    She has had to go onto warfarin/coumadin & will likely be on it for the rest of her life (although she might have to switch to a different medication if she decides to spawn, if I remember correctly).

    When they were first figuring out what dosage she'd need she had to get her blood work done once a week. Now she only has to go in once every 3 months. She has to be careful about intake of some foods, especially stuff that is high in vitamin K (leafy greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, &c.). She still eats it but her dosage is calculated based on her average daily consumption of those things and if she were to change her diet to increase or decrease her intake of aforementioned foods she'd likely have to change her warfarin/coumadin dosage.

    Even on blood thinners, she still ended up developing another DVT while she was studying for the bar b/c she was so focused on studying that she didn't move around as much (and possibly wasn't drinking enough water) that her blood pooled & developed another DVT. I think they just upped her dosage for about a week or two to thin it back out & then she stepped down to her previous dosage.

    Key things for her is to make sure she gets up every two hours to move her body & to stay well hydrated as dehydration can precipitate clots even while on blood thinners. She doesn't train jiu jitsu (she still runs more than any sane person should) but she hasn't noticed a change in how easily she bruises from the medications.

    I'd talk to your doctor about it all. From what I understand, not everyone who has the clotting disorder need to take blood thinners. Factor V is incompletely dominant so if someone has just one copy of the variant they may be fine with being active, staying hydrated, and taking an aspirin a day. Of course, I am not a doctor & y'alls should talk to your doctor about this if it's a concern.
     
  10. shunyata

    shunyata Red Belt

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    Contact sports are heavily contraindicated with warfarin usage.
     
  11. Solidus Snake

    Solidus Snake Purple Belt

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    Thank you all for the answers.

    I didn't have travel or surgery recently.. I'm 28 and I don't know about anybody in my family having a story of DVT. I don't smoke and I'm even having a really balanced diet from a little more than a year (which leads me to lose something like 30 lbs.. I was 182 lbs and now I'm around 154.. I never was obese or such BTW).

    The doctor who diagnosed it to me said it could have had been caused, aside from the more common causes, even by dehidratation or a big blow to the leg (of course, in this case a predisposition of some kind might still be there).

    Anyway, I'm not searching for a way to train under anticoagulants cause that's not what I gonna do now, and certainly not what I'll do if I'll be stuck with this shit for life. Hell, I don't really know by now if I'll be back to Bjj at all at this point.. I love Bjj so much that coming in again only to being stopped after some time (this time permanently, as I already know a second thrombosis is a one way ticket for AC at life) would be just too painful. I may be just give it a definitevely cut.. I still don't know, though.

    Also, hearing this stuff is so rare between people who trains isn't exactly encouraging either. Don't get me wrong on this- I'm absolutely happy other fellow Bjjers aren't stuck with this stuff, it's just that you can name an injury or a disease.. and somebody here on this board or the others already had it. This one.. it just looks like I'm totally alone on first hand experience.

    Thanks again for reading.
     
  12. No1 Stunna

    No1 Stunna Banned Banned

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    My HS wrestling coach got a dvt and was otherwise healthy. Relax and take care of your body, bjj can (and probably will) come later.
     
  13. syncopizer

    syncopizer Yellow Belt

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    Sorry bro, hope it gets better :)
     
  14. AboveThisFire

    AboveThisFire Green Belt

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    My apologies for digging this thread out of the graveyard but I wanted to see if there was any more information people could throw in that I might not be aware of.

    I'm also 28, as the OP of this thread was at the time (apparently a shitty age for blood clots or something) I was diagnosed with a clot in my leg after back to back to back extended travel flights (essentially going about 3/4ths of the way around the world in the span of a week or so including two 17 hour flights), got diagnosed while in Eastern Europe and they couldn't find anything in my lungs so they let me fly back to the U.S.; turns out when I started coughing up blood on the plane back to the U.S. they may have made a mistake.

    Luckily made it from the airport to the ER (and then got quarantined for ebola because I had been in West Africa and was coughing up blood...) and was told I had some small clots in both of my lungs and minor pulmonary infarction (little bit of my lungs died from the clots but luckily it's not something permanent); was hospitalized for a little while and then released on blood thinners.

    I was instructed not to do essentially anything but walk as far as exercise goes, which has driven me pretty insane considering I'm used to working out every day and training every night, was cleared to lift at one point and then told not to until this morning when I was able to get back to the gym again at least.

    Hopefully I'll be able to get back on the mats and resume training after coming off of the blood thinner in January (I tested negative for any sort of clotting disorder, the clot was caused just by the mixture of ridiculously long flights and dehydration most likely).

    Attempting to get back into shape sucks something fierce though, any advice on this or experience with it would be pretty great.

    Just a note, if you ever have pain in a leg that feels like a muscle cramp and develop any sort of chest pain, see a doctor, I had no swelling at all but it felt like I had pulled my calf and hurt my ribs, turns out googling those symptoms together and getting to an ER can save your life.
     
  15. velvetjones

    velvetjones White Belt

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    I had a blood clot in my leg and lung diagnosed last February. After a couple of months my doctor said boxing was ok. Hitting the bags and mitts only, absolutely no sparring. if you get hit in the head you can have very serious or deadly bleeding. no kicking or elbows either as they are not protected.

    this is what worked for me - ask your doctor and your hematologist, as each case is different.

    my clot was random and there was no basis. but that fear is in the back of my head every day. a second clot and you're pretty much on coumadin for life.
     
  16. Wilson78

    Wilson78 White Belt

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    I know this is an old thread but I was just diagnosed with a DVT and wanted to know the status of your return or departure from the mats. I want to return as well but I do not know if I will be able to or not. I need to see a specialist and have ore testing done.
     
  17. Solidus Snake

    Solidus Snake Purple Belt

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    Hey! I don't come to Sherdog as often as in the past (a little bit more lately, tbh), but I usually check here and there especially thinking about this thread and people that may verse in this situation, cause I remember being so alone at the time of this distressing problem yet so desperate to have some fellow Bjj guy giving me some first hand answers and advices.. so here I am.

    By the way, back to ending 2012, I had a first DVT, back to training after 6 months of coumadin (a warfarin based anticoagulant if you are not familiar with it), had another one just a month and half later, then basically after another anticoagulant cycle and the clot solved for a second time I started to train again, COMPLETELY avoiding triangle chokes that put stress on my left calf (where the DVT developed, I 99% abandonded triangle chokes entirely anyway, even on my sane calf, pretty sure that holding triangles for dear life and having your cald deal with that kind of pressure IN COMBINATION with the other factors I'll list later did it to me), taking folic acid every day, hydratating myself properly and supplementing with tons of vitamins and minerals, and from that day on since today (actually I've injured my shoulder in december and I still can't train but it's another matter altogheter) I had zero problems related even by training at 110% (finally took my purple belt last summer too).
    It's worth to say that at the time of the DVT I had homocysteine levels quite high (from there the folic acid prescription) as well as the factor VIII, then in a matter of months they both came down to normal levels. I was also overly stressed and having a shitty, strict diet trying to compete at a weight category below mine, which may also if not certainly have contributed as well.

    I'd like to know where you developed your dvt and how did this episode went down? What your doctor told you? Of course you need to see a specialist, didn't they already gave you an anticoagulant therapy of some kind?

    Get back to me whenever you want!

    P.S.I remember being completely destroyed at the time (being already a depressed person myself, Bjj was basically a too vital part of my life to simply give it up), so I really don't know if you verse in the same blind desperation I was at the time, feel free to write me even in PM.
    Oh and forgive my bad english! Ask if I wasn't clear somewhere.
     
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  18. armbar360

    armbar360 White Belt

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    Ive had multiple DVTs a Pulmonary Emboli and a Heart attack caused by a Thrombus and have been on Coumadin and other meds for over a decade. I still train 3-4 times a week. I dont compete anymore but not due to my clotting disorder or meds., Im just old...There is risk in anything you do ,so even if you are placed on meds you can still train you just have to be aware of the risks and decide if it is worth it. To me it is...Im also a RN so i know the risks.
     
  19. Solidus Snake

    Solidus Snake Purple Belt

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    Interesting. In my darkest moments that's what I always thought I would have done if they put me on coumadin or anticoagulants for life. I guess in the end life is yours, you fully know the risks and you aren't hurting anybody else, so..

    A couple of questions if you do not mind. Do you still roll full resistance? Was your doctor ok with your decision?
     
  20. The Colonel

    The Colonel Purple Belt

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    Since others have already given you some pretty good advice in my opinion, here's my two cents.

    Don't train BJJ until you're done with the coumadin therapy and been given the go ahead by your doctor. DVT's can be extremely serious as I'm sure you're discovering. I feel for you. As an active person it may be entirely possible that you have a genetic clotting disorder and have not even known about it. Clotting disorders run in my family, specifically Factor V Leiden Syndrome (which is actually not that uncommon) and this may well be the case for you.

    Don't get down and lose hope or anything though. It may be that if you need to be on long term coumadin (as my mother does for instance) or you may not. Plus haven't you seen those new commercials for Eliquis? There are other anti-coagulants that may work out better for you IF and I mean IF you have to go on long-term therapy. I'm not a doctor, I'm a nurse, just my two cents.
     

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