Is it Safe to Wrestle if You Have a Blood Clotting Disorder?


It’s common knowledge to avoid exercise if you have an injury or minimize physical activity if you have pain or tightness in your muscles. But should you develop a labor-intensive workout routine and participate in wrestling if you have a blood clotting disorder? Let’s take a look.

What is a Blood Clotting Disorder?

The human body is really resilient. When we cut our skin open, bruise our bodies, or bleed internally, the proteins and particles in our blood stick together to form a blood clot. If the injury is serious, our skin won’t be able to form a clot without pressure, bandages, sutures, or staples.

But when you have a blood clotting disorder, the blood keeps moving through the body or clots too much. Both states can be dangerous and affect your ability to wrestle.

Before participating in any sport, contact a hematology care professional. Your condition may be less severe or can be reversed through lifestyle changes and/or physical therapy.

What Blood Clotting Disorders Affect My Ability to Wrestle?

Blood clotting disorders are separated into two categories: excessive blood clotting and a lack of blood clotting. Conditions that prevent clotting are rare, while excessive clotting is common.

Excessive Blood Clotting

It’s normal for your blood to thicken and form a semisolid mass to block an open wound and start the healing process. However, if the mass is too large or multiple masses form in one spot, your body creates a blood clot. These can be fatal if they block an artery or travel elsewhere.

Some rare disorders, like antiphospholipid syndrome or Factor V Leiden, can cause excess clotting. Certain medications, like oral contraceptives, can increase your risk of blood clots.

With few exceptions, excessive blood clotting is typically the result of a poor lifestyle. Prolonged sitting, smoking, stroke, obesity, arteriosclerosis, and coronary heart disease increase your risk drastically. As a positive, you can reverse your risk of blood clots through lifestyle intervention.

Exercise class

Lack of Blood Clotting

Bleeding disorders are much rarer and can’t be cured through lifestyle changes, but they can be managed successfully. Of the many bleeding disorders, hemophilia and von Willebrand disease are the most common of these rare disorders, and they’re almost always inherited.

Although it’s unlikely, you could develop hemophilia later in life if the clotting factor is lacking (factor IX in type B or factor VIII in type A), and all cases can be severe. With von Willebrand disease, type 1 is the least severe, type 2 is moderately severe, and type 3 is very severe.

Can I Participate in Contact Sports if I Have a Clotting Disorder?

According to a Play it Safe document created by, wrestling is on the “not recommended” list. Wrestling is linked to a four-fold increase in risk compared to being inactive.

If you have a bleeding disorder, avoiding any sport that could increase your risk of injury is advisable. You can still play sports and exercise, but you need to be more careful. Some sports in the safe or moderate risk zone include exercise classes, hiking, and martial arts.

If you currently have a blood clot, you should not participate in contact sports. Running, swimming, and cycling are okay. You should try to avoid physical trauma where possible. If you’re on blood thinners, don’t exercise as hard as you normally would until you’re off them.

If you’re at risk of getting a blood clot, you should be able to participate in contact sports and exercise as normal. However, it’s a good idea to start slow when adopting a new workout or sports routine, as you could cause trauma to your body that may provoke a blood clot.

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