Ok to play football?

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steve119

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Hi I am on warfarin having had a mechanical valve replacement, my target inr is between 2.5-3.0. I am ready to start playing contact sports again, in particular football or as the americans call it soccer. I was just wondering if people out there on warfarin do this, is it safe to do so, should i be aware of any dangers?

Thanks,
 

Cooker

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steve119 said:
Hi I am on warfarin having had a mechanical valve replacement, my target inr is between 2.5-3.0. I am ready to start playing contact sports again, in particular football or as the americans call it soccer. I was just wondering if people out there on warfarin do this, is it safe to do so, should i be aware of any dangers?

Thanks,
I don't want to be a stick in the mud....but I think soccer/football has a high risk of head injury. I would be very careful or maybe pick a diff sport.
 

tobagotwo

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While I believe most people on warfarin to be more rugged than what is frequently put forth by the insurance-driven medical community, I would agree to the extent that you should wear appropriate protective headgear.

Come to think of it, that's what I suggested to you about snowboarding as well. Presumably, you've consulted your physician, to see if there are issues other than your warfarin to be considered.

I would go easy at first, to see how your body handles the bruising that is concommital with soccer playing.

Best wishes,
 

Philip B

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Concerns

Concerns

I would echo the comments of those who responded to your post. It's fairly common for many of us who do the coumadin thing to keep our INR's between 2.5 and 3.5. Increased bruising and complications involving head injuries are a reality. Have you ever had a 3 hour nose bleed?

While I don't do contact sports like soccer, I have noticed that I bruise much easier than I used to prior to starting coumadin. Bicycle and skiing crashes leave me with more bruises than I used to get and it takes longer to heal. Needless to say, I've become really dilligent about wearing head protection. I haven't gone as far as wearing a helmet while sailing, but I make sure I have my head down when the boom on my small keelboat swings. I've attempted to make a case for getting a bigger sailboat that will give me better head clearance while standing in the cockpit, but my wife hasn't bought into this idea yet.

Others might disagree with my persective about post-AVR activities, but I feel the surgery is about maintaining quality of life as well as keeping our tickers ticking. Being able to continue engagement in the activities we enjoy is a quality of life issue for me. I am less aggressive when I ski and ride now, and make a real effort to avoid situations that might result in injury.

We are not endowed with the ability to engage in deductive reasoning and use common sense by accident. Assess the risks associated with playing soccer, consider how the risks can be minimized, make the necessary adjustments, and play.

-Philip
 

temp69

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sounds risky

sounds risky

but then again, i just went skiing five out of six days (with a helmet) so why not give it a try. i'm sure the drs. will tell you to avoid it, but it's your life.

good luc!
 

PathFinder

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just try :)

just try :)

Soccer is my favorite sport too. I haven't played yet after my AVR (just gone through the 6-th month), but I do enything else. Even drinking not more and not less, than I did it before. Be wise, do everything in the normal limits and it will be OK, even more ,if you don't think about it all the time. :)

Ivo
 

Magic8Ball

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Probably the fact that you are asking the question means you are not entirely confident about how safe it is.

Being an ex brit and playing sunday league and 5 a side soccer i'd say its probably not that safe an activity. Remember, these Americans think soccer is a girls game :D

Football being blasted into your head, body check causing you to fall on ground at speed while running banging your head, elbow in face/cheek/temple etc are all there waiting to cause a bleed. If you haven't already had one of these you aren't playing hard enough ;)

Not to mention the good old broken ankle/arm/shin/nose...or busted knee ligaments that would all prove additionally complicated to repare while on warafin.

I've battled with this since my surgery and have given up my favorite martial art's pastime after a few posts on this site and conversations with my gp and cardiologist.

Everyone is right, its a quality of life decision and you have to make a call that you are happy with....for me, although the quality of life may be slightly less without contact sport it is still life that i share with my friends and family....risking death so i can pretend to be Bruce Lee or David Beckam just doesn't pass my cost/benefit analysis.

Good luck with your decision.
 
C

Curtsmum

Hi Steve,
When my son went for his pre-assesment, the cardiac laison nurse was disscusing warfarin, i mentioned that he wouldn't be able to play football and i was surprised when she said she knows people that are on warfarin that play football, i didn't go into detail because we are not at the warfarin stage yet. I would check it out first before you start playing, if my son go's onto it i would check again before i would let him play but best of luck.
 
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Hi
Have you started playing soccer yet? I am curious to know is it safe did you need to make any adjustments how did your body handle the impact? Did you take any precautions before the game ? Lol sorry for all the questions at once I just recently got my aortic valve replaced I am still in recovery
 

dick0236

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Hi Soraak. you have responded to a post that is 13 years old and you may not get a response from the original poster. However, maybe some current soccer players will respond to you. BTW, welcome to the forum.
 
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Hi Soraak. you have responded to a post that is 13 years old and you may not get a response from the original poster. However, maybe some current soccer players will respond to you. BTW, welcome to the forum.
Thank you, hopefully somebody can probably help me out with this all I get from the doctors are “you are not allowed to play contact sports” lol
 

pellicle

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Thank you, hopefully somebody can probably help me out with this all I get from the doctors are “you are not allowed to play contact sports” lol
well my view is that as you age doing hard heat hitting contact sports is less of a good idea anyway. The chief issue is that if you have uncontrolled INR (like most people {of course not on this forum}) then head injuries with INR > 4 is going to have a significantly higher risk of brain damage. I can't count how many times my Surgeon over the years tried to dissuade me from motorcycling...

My advice is "use your head" and
  • wear head protection
  • keep your INR in line
  • don't pretend you're 25 still
you'll be fine ... hopefully @Chuck C will be along soon with some views or at least links to his good posts on this topic.

Myself I still take thoughtful risks
 

Chuck C

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Thank you, hopefully somebody can probably help me out with this all I get from the doctors are “you are not allowed to play contact sports” lol
Welcome to the forum!
You have not indicated what valve type, but because your doctors have told you no contact sports I will assume that you have a mechanical valve and are now on warfarin.
I am in the same situation, having had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical valve 6 weeks ago. I really struggled with the decision at first whether to go tissue or mechanical, because I am very involved in heavy contact sports- boxing, kick boxing, MMA and competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Ultimately, I chose mechanical because of the longer life expectancy for my age- 53, even though this would mean giving up the sports I loved the most.

What helped me with my decision was reading dozens of posts from others on this forum who live physically active lives on warfarin. I realized I can still live an active life, but just need to make some changes and be sensible. Boxing, kick boxing and MMA are out, because even with head gear on, I can't risk taking punches or kicks to the head as it could lead to a life threatening bleed. Competition BJJ is out, but I can still train technique and also plan to focus more on teaching, which I also love very much.

Also, I plan to revisit some of the active sports and hobbies that I did in years past but have not been active in lately with my focus being on martial arts in recent years. I plan to get back into scuba diving and free diving. I will probably pick up racquetball again. I may do some biking once again, although in a sensible way- no more high speed downhill mountain biking. I will probably get back into lifting weights. I may compete at some endurance sports- I was once into marathons and ultra marathons, but it has been over 11 years. Now that my valve has about 2x the valve opening as my native valve, I am kind of excited to discover whether this will lead to competitive times in endurance sports. I have always loved hiking, especially challenging steep hikes and I plan to double down on this going forward.

Honestly, giving up the kick boxing and boxing has not been easy. I made the MMA team at Dan Henderson's Team Quest at age 49, by far the oldest fighter on the team and experienced great joy competing with the young bucks. It made me feel ageless. But, the reality is that I am not ageless and as much as I loved these sports it is probably a good time to give them up, given my age, warfarin or not. Taking too many hits to the head is not a good idea, especially once we reach a certain age.

There are so many things which I can do and I am looking forward to getting back into the previous activities mentioned and also exploring new ones. It is a process of letting go of some things, but being excited about learning new things and making the most of the things which I can still do. It comes down to making sensible choices, choosing sports which are not likely to lead to a major bleed, especially avoiding sports which might lead to head injuries.
 
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Welcome to the forum!
You have not indicated what valve type, but because your doctors have told you no contact sports I will assume that you have a mechanical valve and are now on warfarin.
I am in the same situation, having had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical valve 6 weeks ago. I really struggled with the decision at first whether to go tissue or mechanical, because I am very involved in heavy contact sports- boxing, kick boxing, MMA and competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Ultimately, I chose mechanical because of the longer life expectancy for my age- 53, even though this would mean giving up the sports I loved the most.

What helped me with my decision was reading dozens of posts from others on this forum who live physically active lives on warfarin. I realized I can still live an active life, but just need to make some changes and be sensible. Boxing, kick boxing and MMA are out, because even with head gear on, I can't risk taking punches or kicks to the head as it could lead to a life threatening bleed. Competition BJJ is out, but I can still train technique and also plan to focus more on teaching, which I also love very much.

Also, I plan to revisit some of the active sports and hobbies that I did in years past but have not been active in lately with my focus being on martial arts in recent years. I plan to get back into scuba diving and free diving. I will probably pick up racquetball again. I may do some biking once again, although in a sensible way- no more high speed downhill mountain biking. I will probably get back into lifting weights. I may compete at some endurance sports- I was once into marathons and ultra marathons, but it has been over 11 years. Now that my valve has about 2x the valve opening as my native valve, I am kind of excited to discover whether this will lead to competitive times in endurance sports. I have always loved hiking, especially challenging steep hikes and I plan to double down on this going forward.

Honestly, giving up the kick boxing and boxing has not been easy. I made the MMA team at Dan Henderson's Team Quest at age 49, by far the oldest fighter on the team and experienced great joy competing with the young bucks. It made me feel ageless. But, the reality is that I am not ageless and as much as I loved these sports it is probably a good time to give them up, given my age, warfarin or not. Taking too many hits to the head is not a good idea, especially once we reach a certain age.

There are so many things which I can do and I am looking forward to getting back into the previous activities mentioned and also exploring new ones. It is a process of letting go of some things, but being excited about learning new things and making the most of the things which I can still do. It comes down to making sensible choices, choosing sports which are not likely to lead to a major bleed, especially avoiding sports which might lead to head injuries.
Hi Chuck
When you phrase it like that letting go of the old things to learn new things does help. I guess the fact that I am 26years old taking warfarin and being only 3 weeks into recovery is still a bit hard to take in that you have to let go somethings. I definitely wouldn’t want to get hurt playing a friendly game of soccer considering I have a wife to come home to lol and I probably wouldn’t want to put anyone of my loved ones through unnecessarily stress worrying about me. But last question don’t know if a new forum has to be opened for this but since you mentioned MMA any advice about self defense for guys that are on warfarin it’s quite scary thinking about it, you obviously wouldn’t want to take a blow to the head defending yourself
 

cldlhd

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Welcome to the forum!
You have not indicated what valve type, but because your doctors have told you no contact sports I will assume that you have a mechanical valve and are now on warfarin.
I am in the same situation, having had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical valve 6 weeks ago. I really struggled with the decision at first whether to go tissue or mechanical, because I am very involved in heavy contact sports- boxing, kick boxing, MMA and competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Ultimately, I chose mechanical because of the longer life expectancy for my age- 53, even though this would mean giving up the sports I loved the most.

What helped me with my decision was reading dozens of posts from others on this forum who live physically active lives on warfarin. I realized I can still live an active life, but just need to make some changes and be sensible. Boxing, kick boxing and MMA are out, because even with head gear on, I can't risk taking punches or kicks to the head as it could lead to a life threatening bleed. Competition BJJ is out, but I can still train technique and also plan to focus more on teaching, which I also love very much.

Also, I plan to revisit some of the active sports and hobbies that I did in years past but have not been active in lately with my focus being on martial arts in recent years. I plan to get back into scuba diving and free diving. I will probably pick up racquetball again. I may do some biking once again, although in a sensible way- no more high speed downhill mountain biking. I will probably get back into lifting weights. I may compete at some endurance sports- I was once into marathons and ultra marathons, but it has been over 11 years. Now that my valve has about 2x the valve opening as my native valve, I am kind of excited to discover whether this will lead to competitive times in endurance sports. I have always loved hiking, especially challenging steep hikes and I plan to double down on this going forward.

Honestly, giving up the kick boxing and boxing has not been easy. I made the MMA team at Dan Henderson's Team Quest at age 49, by far the oldest fighter on the team and experienced great joy competing with the young bucks. It made me feel ageless. But, the reality is that I am not ageless and as much as I loved these sports it is probably a good time to give them up, given my age, warfarin or not. Taking too many hits to the head is not a good idea, especially once we reach a certain age.

There are so many things which I can do and I am looking forward to getting back into the previous activities mentioned and also exploring new ones. It is a process of letting go of some things, but being excited about learning new things and making the most of the things which I can still do. It comes down to making sensible choices, choosing sports which are not likely to lead to a major bleed, especially avoiding sports which might lead to head injuries.
Man reading that list of contact sports made me at 52 feel like a bum......
 

cldlhd

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Hi Chuck
When you phrase it like that letting go of the old things to learn new things does help. I guess the fact that I am 26years old taking warfarin and being only 3 weeks into recovery is still a bit hard to take in that you have to let go somethings. I definitely wouldn’t want to get hurt playing a friendly game of soccer considering I have a wife to come home to lol and I probably wouldn’t want to put anyone of my loved ones through unnecessarily stress worrying about me. But last question don’t know if a new forum has to be opened for this but since you mentioned MMA any advice about self defense for guys that are on warfarin it’s quite scary thinking about it, you obviously wouldn’t want to take a blow to the head defending yourself
Well I'm not on warfarin and I try to avoid unnecessary blows to the head.... I guess it sounds like you can handle yourself and I found as you get a little older you still get angry in situations but it's easier to look at the big picture and realize it's not worth it so you tend to get into less scraps. Although I realize sometimes it's unavoidable. I look at it now like worst case scenario I get the crap beaten out of me or killed and even if you win you're liable to get arrested so best to avoid it.
I imagine changing things up at 26 does seem a bit daunting but I think personally when you get a little further away from your surgery you'll have a little more perspective. You just went through a big, often emotional, surgery. You mentioned having a wife to come home to so that's obviously affecting your judgment in a certain direction but I think if you guys have a kid(s) that'll Make it even easier to give some things up and find new hobbies. Obviously your wife needs you but when you see a baby that's yours for the first time, at least I did, you really think about how much they depend on you for almost everything.
 

Superman

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Hi Chuck
When you phrase it like that letting go of the old things to learn new things does help. I guess the fact that I am 26years old taking warfarin and being only 3 weeks into recovery is still a bit hard to take in that you have to let go somethings. I definitely wouldn’t want to get hurt playing a friendly game of soccer considering I have a wife to come home to lol and I probably wouldn’t want to put anyone of my loved ones through unnecessarily stress worrying about me. But last question don’t know if a new forum has to be opened for this but since you mentioned MMA any advice about self defense for guys that are on warfarin it’s quite scary thinking about it, you obviously wouldn’t want to take a blow to the head defending yourself
Welcome to the forum! Just a kid yet. 😁. Got my mechanical valve when I was 17 and turned 18 in the hospital (do I know how to party or what!?!). I played basketball at the gym or local parks. Played playground football (American, tackle, no safety gear back in the early 1990’s) with my friends. I didn’t get my first bike helmet until 1994. We just didn’t do that back then. Did a fair bit of mountain biking and some skiing.

I won’t say I made the best choices, but I lived to tell about it and pass on my defective genes five times. In my late 40’s now and still hike and bike, but don’t do much competitive sports these days. Like others have said. Just be smart about it. Wear shin guards. Maybe bail on a play you would have pursued before. Should be okay.
 

Chuck C

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since you mentioned MMA any advice about self defense for guys that are on warfarin it’s quite scary thinking about it, you obviously wouldn’t want to take a blow to the head defending yourself
Hands down, I would recommend Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It does not involve striking, so you should be able to train sensibly and develop good self defense. It involves leverage, chokes, and joint locks.

I started training in 1994 under the legendary Royce Gracie. You probably are aware of the UFC. Royce won 3 out of the first 4 UFC events and that was back when it was tournament style when he had to beat 3-4 opponents in one night. Full street fighting style, with very few rules, other than no biting. Almost anything goes. He defeated all of his opponents without throwing any strikes in most of his fights- just took them to the mat and submitted them with chokes and joint locks, despite being much smaller than almost all of his opponents. It changed the martial arts world. Now, all fighters in the MMA world train in BJJ as a core aspect of their fighting style, regardless of their background.

Here is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu documentary that is well worth the watch and will give you an idea of why it works and how effective it was. There is a guy from my academy in the video- Richard. He talks about the Gracie challenge. This was something they did in the old days, before the UFC really took off. They had an open challenge to any fighter in the world, that they could come to the academy and try their style against BJJ in a "no holds barred" fight. I was there for much of this time and witnessed some of the fights he speaks of. They never lost. Not a single time. We had fighters from every style of martial art you can think if come in and try their style. They would always get taken to the mat and submitted. It would be a different outcome today, as the world has now discovered BJJ and millions train in it. But, back then, no one had any idea which martial art was truly superior.

ROLL: Jiu-Jitsu in SoCal
A documentary


Here is a documentary about my mentor and first teacher, Royce Gracie:


I would also recommend training in Muay Thai kickboxing, but just on the pads- don't do the actual sparring, as you do not want to be taking punches and kicks, just learn how to throw them. Muay Thai and BJJ is a lethal combination.
 
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Chuck C

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Well I'm not on warfarin and I try to avoid unnecessary blows to the head.... I guess it sounds like you can handle yourself and I found as you get a little older you still get angry in situations but it's easier to look at the big picture and realize it's not worth it so you tend to get into less scraps. Although I realize sometimes it's unavoidable. I look at it now like worst case scenario I get the crap beaten out of me or killed and even if you win you're liable to get arrested so best to avoid it.
I imagine changing things up at 26 does seem a bit daunting but I think personally when you get a little further away from your surgery you'll have a little more perspective. You just went through a big, often emotional, surgery. You mentioned having a wife to come home to so that's obviously affecting your judgment in a certain direction but I think if you guys have a kid(s) that'll Make it even easier to give some things up and find new hobbies. Obviously your wife needs you but when you see a baby that's yours for the first time, at least I did, you really think about how much they depend on you for almost everything.
I played a lot of soccer when I was young up through college. I'm not sure it is a good idea on warfarin, and hopefully some on warfarin who play soccer can chime in and give their feedback. It has the potential to be very contact oriented. I used my head a lot and sometimes going for a header you knocked heads with another player- real bad idea. I would think that slide tackles would be out. But, not sure how you stop an opponent from slide tackling you- maybe develop style in which you pass the ball early. When I played, I was one of the idiots who did not care for shin guards and my shins go bloodied a few times- I would think this could be problematic, but not life threatening, so Superman's advice to wear shin guards is well noted.

I have played coed soccer before and this tends to be much more mellow and often has rules against slide tackles and such. Perhaps this would be something to explore.
 
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