3d Illustration of Deep Vein Thrombosis or Blood Clots. Embolism

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) as a COVID-19 development is of serious concern to massage therapists now.

MASSAGE Magazine updated this article with new sources of information on August 19, 2020.

Massage therapy is contraindicated for a client presenting with DVT, also known as blood clotting, as it can dislodge a clot and cause a pulmonary embolism —which can lead to heart attack or stroke.

As with much of the knowledge related to coronavirus (COVID-19), experts’ understanding of this particular development is evolving. For example, patients hospitalized with COVID-19 present with a higher rate of DVT, while the statistics related to people who are self-isolated with a mild form of COVID-19 are not yet known; yet, patients with a mild case of COVID-19 are presenting with blood clots. Further, experts are finding evidence that suggests COVID-19 is a disease of the blood vessels.

Deep Vein Thrombosis or Blood Clots. Embolus. Structure of normal and varicose female veins, illustration.

MASSAGE Magazine’s editors have curated this selection the most current information available about DVT and COVID-19, from expert sources, for our audience of massage therapists — and will update it as more becomes known. (This article is intended for information purposes only and is not a replacement for a physician’s advice.)

COVID-19: Possible mechanism for blood clotting identified


Researchers are looking at why certain COVID-19 patients experience blood clotting. This report in the journal “Circulation” explains.

Article Explains Possible Mechanism

This article in the international journal HospiMedica examines the research that may point to a possible mechanism of clotting in COVID-19 patients.

Should You Be Worried About Blood Clots With COVID-19?

The Cleveland Clinic

This article answers such common questions related to DVT as, “are clots a risk for people with mild cases of COVID-19?”

“There are reports that clots are forming in people with COVID-19 who are at home and mobile — not just those lying flat in a hospital bed. But it’s not clear yet how common they are.”

Read the article here.

Unraveling the Mystery of Clotting in COVID-19

Harvard Medical Grand Rounds video via the American Venous Forum

Medical professionals with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, the departments of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital discuss DVT in COVID-19, focusing on case reports and the current research on how COVID-19 affects blood vessels.

Watch the video here.

Searching for Ways to Prevent Life-Threatening Blood Clots in COVID-19

NIH Director’s Blog

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, speaks with Director of NIH’s Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Gary Gibbons, MD, a cardiologist, about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) affects both large and small levels; and encourages clots at the capillary level.

“It seems like every few weeks another page gets turned on COVID-19, and we learn even more about how this virus affects the body. Blood clots are one of the startling and, unfortunately, devastating complications that emerged as patients were cared for, particularly in New York City. It became apparent that certain individuals had difficulty getting enough oxygen into their system. The difficulty couldn’t be explained entirely by the extent of the pneumonia affecting the lungs’ ability to exchange oxygen.”

Read the blog post here.

New Study Shows COVID-19 Causes Severe Blood Vessel Damage


New research indicates COVID-19 damages blood vessels and can lead to widespread thrombosis. “The researchers discovered an unexpected disease pattern in COVID-19 lungs: the virus invaded the endothelial cells, and this was accompanied by blood clots. Compared to the flu, COVID-19 lungs had 9-fold more blood clots and the blood vessels were injured by the virus causing an unusual reaction of blood vessel growth.”

Read the report here.