Is aquatic therapy in a heated pool safe for someone with a blood clot in the leg?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 12, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Is aquatic therapy in a heated pool safe for someone with a blood clot in the leg?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Blood clots in the legs, also called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), occurs when a blood clot forms in a large veins of the lower leg. These clots can also develop in the thigh, pelvis, or arm. DVT can cause serious problems, like disability and even death. Therefore, it is important to try to prevent DVT if you are at risk, and if it does happen, get it treated aggressively. I have listed the risk factors and treatment below:

Risk Factors: 1) Injury to the vein (fractures, muscle injury,or major surgery) 2) No movement (slow blood flow) from bedrest or limited movement 3) Increased estrogen (birth control pills, hormone therapy, pregnancy) 4) Chronic medical illnesses, like heart or lung disease, cancer 5) Obesity 6) Smoking 7) High blood pressure 8) Inherited clotting disorder

Treatment: Medications are used to prevent and treat DVT. There are numerous anticoagulants (blood thinners) that are used, and your health care provider will help you choose the correct treatment for you.

Now, back to your question. This question really should be answered by your health care provider, since they know your individual case and history. I would call them and ask them if it is okay to aqua therapy, as it has the potential to be dangerous is the clot is not well treated.
Good luck!