Over-exercising, overexertion, on the body is not to be taken lightly and can have serious consequences. A story on an apparently healthy athlete experienced such extreme muscle pain and soreness that she sought medical care. Her urine was very noticeably dark in color. At the hospital she was diagnosed with Exertional Rhabdomyolysis.
Throughout the summer many children are doubling up on sport camps. This week alone many students of Delaware County, Pa. are participating in a lacrosse camp at the Garnet Valley High School in Glen Mills, Pa. from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Many of those same students have soccer camp at either USTC in Downingtown, Pa., UK Elite Soccer Camp in Westtown, Pa., or BYC Soccer in Glen Mills, Pa. or some other sports camps at night as well. Basically, those students are exercising for about eight hours a day. This is a lot of stress on the body but there are definite signs to acquaint yourself with to keep your child safe and healthy.
Case Report from www.athleteinme.com
A 19-year old college freshmen was an ultimate frisbee player. The actual estimate playing time for this case was to be 3 hours. At the end of the tournament she experienced severe muscle soreness and was unable to straighten her elbows and knees and had a hard time standing because of the soreness in her back. Her urine became dark but she did not seek medical help. The soreness went away after 3 days. Two weeks later she participated in a frisbee tournament for 2 hours followed by a 2-hour karate class. This time when the severe muscle soreness began she sought medical help. The following day her CK (creatine kinase, an enzyme found in muscle cells) levels peaked at 59,000 units per liter (U/L). Note: normal levels for females are between 20 and 200 U/L. She had no previous signs of fever or illness. She was diagnosed with Exertional Rhabdomyolsis.
What is Rhabdomyolysis? (RAB-DOE-MY-O-LIE-SIS)
Rhabdomyolysis is a rapid break down of the skeletal muscle resulting in a leakage into the urine of the muscle protein myoglobin. There are three different types of muscle in the human body : smooth muscle, skeletal muscle, and heart muscle. Myoglobin is a protein released into the blood when the skeletal muscle is destroyed. One can have a blood test to determine levels of this protein or it can be measured by urine samples.
What are some causes Rhabdomyolysis?
- muscle trauma, crush or injury
- severe burns
- drug and alcohol intoxication
- extreme physical activity (like running a marathon)
- medications mainly statins used to treat high cholesterol (Zocor, Lipitor, Pravachol, Mevacor)(www.medicinenet.com)
- heat stroke/hot weather is associated with and may aggravate some cases of exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis
What are some signs?
- muscle pain
A know trigger for Exertional Rhabdomyolysis is an “unusual exercise load” or an abrupt transition to a much greater exercise load. Dramatic changes in exertion load (duration and/or intensity) or exposure to heat stress can increase a persons’ risk.
How to avoid Exertional Rhabdomyolysis
- Proper training. Know your fitness level and work within that range. Only move up levels of intensity and duration when your current fitness level has shown improvement for a sustained period of time.
- Recovery drink and plenty of fluids. Some studies show that Ck levels after exercise are lower in athletes who consume sports drinks that contain protein.www.athleteinme.com