Do you know what  Rhabdomyolysis is? If you exercise hard you should.

We all know the benefits of regular exercise, but can we get too much of a good thing?  The answer is yes.  To simplify matters, let’s explain what happens when we workout. When we exercise hard, we break down muscle tissue (part of the soreness we feel after exercise) then we rest and recover and the muscle comes back stronger and that is how we gain strength.

Now what happens if we work out excessively, with not enough recovery time between exercises sessions? Rhabdomyolysis is a condition characterized by the excessive breakdown of muscle that causes a release of both myoglobin and creatine kinase into the blood. However, the body’s ability to “clear” this excessive myoglobin is limited and the excess is filtered by the kidneys which can cause an obstruction or renal dysfunction that requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of Rhabdomyolysis include extreme muscle soreness and swelling, weakness,  dark, discolored urine, and excessive levels of CK (creatine kinase) in the blood (measured by a blood test).

Treatment includes immediate medical attention, increasing fluid intake, rest,  and possibly IV fluids.  Remember, you probably need a solid 48 hours between high intensity, work to failure workouts.  Let me know if you have any questions,

Have a great weekend, 

Ed Deboo, PT

Physical Therapy, Bellingham, WA