Blood Clotting Disorder Diagnosis Physical Therapy

There’s good news for hemophiliacs: Medical experts have found that old beliefs about the danger of exercise for those with bleeding disorders were wrong. It turns out that some exercise for hemophiliacs is actually beneficial. It protects against bleeding by keeping joints and muscles strong. Muscles that are strong provide better support to joints and reduce the risk of injuries that could cause internal bleeding.

Always talk with your doctor before getting started in any new sports or exercise programs. Your doctor understands your unique condition and can help you get started with a sport or exercise that is safe.

Physical Therapy for Hemophiliacs

One of the safest ways for hemophiliacs to begin to exercise is through physical therapy. Your doctor can recommend a physical therapist for you to work with. As a plus, the cost may even be covered by your insurance.

A physical therapist is trained to evaluate your level of fitness and can design a program tailored to your individual needs. Specific areas that need strengthening and protection will be targeted. If you are consistent with the exercises you are given, you can expect to improve the range of motion in your joints, muscle strength and flexibility.

Safest Sports for Hemophiliacs

Hemophiliacs can safely enjoy and receive many health benefits from low-impact sports. Some excellent choices include:

  • cycling (with a helmet)
  • gentle dancing
  • swimming
  • tai chi
  • walking
  • yoga.

You can start slowly and rest when you tire. Your strength and stamina will improve over time.

You might have an interest in a team sport or something a bit more dynamic, such as:

  • badminton
  • baseball
  • basketball
  • tennis.

Each person’s condition is different, so you will need to talk with your doctor about specific sports. Some people with damaged joints may not be able to safely participate in sports that are medium impact or jarring in any way. If your joints are healthy and your doctor says it is alright, you may be able to play medium-impact sports.

Your doctor may suggest protective gear such as shin guards, arm guards or helmets to increase your safety when exercise becomes a bit more intense and you have a chance to collide with other players.

Hemophiliacs: Sports to Avoid

Hemophiliacs today can enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle. Still, there are some sports that are considered too dangerous. High-impact and contact sports create a greater risk for injury and bleeding. Sports to avoid include:

  • boxing and contact martial arts
  • gymnastics and tumbling
  • football
  • hockey
  • soccer
  • weight lifting
  • wrestling.

Exercise Safety Tips

When doing any kind of exercise, it is important for hemophiliacs to warm up before beginning. This helps protect the muscles from injury. Stretching is a great start, but even this should be done when the muscles are warm. If you are in a chilly environment, be sure to wear long pants or a sweatshirt until your body is warm.

Comfortable, well-fitted footwear will keep you sure on your feet and will help you avoid injury. Also, if protective gear is available for your sport, you will be safer by using this equipment.

Resources

Baxter Health Corporation (2007). Keeping Joints Healthy. Retrieved September 23, 2007, from the HemophiliaGallaxy Web site: http://www.hemophiliagalaxy.com/patients/managing/joint/healthy.html.

Woolston, Chris (2007). Ills and Conditions. Exercise and Hemophilia. Retrieved September 23, 2007, from the Caremark Web site: http://healthresources.caremark.com/topic/hemophiliaexercise.