Risks of having Factor 5 and doing Circus Silks; am I in danger?

Patient

Q: I'm a 28 year old female and I am currently learning areal circus silks. I'm using it as a form of physical therapy for my spinal injury and it's working well. I LOVE silks and the improvements I'm seeing in my body, mind and spirit. We do a lot of tight wraps to do tricks and inversions, and so I got to thinking about my Factor 5 clotting issue. Can this be dangerous for me? I've only tested for Factor 5 because my mom had a clot in her leg while she was pregnant with me, and since I had been on birth control for a few years, wanted to see if it had been passed on to me, and it had. I've never had any clot issues; I just don't use hormones and am aware that it is a condition I have. Some of the wraps that I do go right across my Femoral Artery in my legs, and then my weight (130lbs) sits on top of those wraps. I really don't want to have to give my new passion up, as it's been 6 years since I've been able to do anything athletic. The silks, for me, are a spiritual experience. Dance, combined with areal acrobatics and the circus arts! What a beautiful combination. I've never been so inspired to heal, and in the 6 years I've had this injury, nothing I've tried (physical therapy 3x's, meditation, accupuncture, massage, massage school, neuro and biofeedback, water sports, yoga, hiking, tens units, chiropractors, traction, etc, etc) has worked half as well as the silks are. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for your answers in advance.

-H

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. Factor V Leiden thrombophilia is an inherited disorder of blood clotting. Patients with this disorder have an increased risk of developing deep vein thromboses (blood clots) within the extremities. This activity does put you at risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis because of the tension placed on your legs form the straps as well as the risk of personal injury. Having said that, it is by no means a reason to stop this activity completely. You may need to simply decrease how much you engage it in, and have the proper safety precautions in place to prevent injury. What is important is that before starting to do this activity, you need to have a blood test performed to determine if you have any other clotting disorders along with Factor V Leiden thrombophilia. If you are cleared by your doctor, please do your best to protect yourself at all times when engaging in this activity to prevent personal injury.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com with your medical question.

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