Rhabdomyolysis: The Real Skinny

CrossFit’s rise to fame has been accompanied with some backlash…


Particularly on its supposed high-risk, injury-inducing workouts. Injuries are a part of any athlete’s life, even CrossFitters aren’t spared. One such injury is rhabdomyolysis, which affects not only the muscles but (potentially) the kidney as well.

Rhabdomyolysis occurs when muscle fibers breakdown. Aside from the damage (muscle pain and swelling), they release myoglobin into the bloodstream. Myoglobin shouldn’t be in the bloodstream in the first place, so the kidney tries to clear it up but eventually breaks down too when it cannot handle the amount of myoglobin it has to filter. As such, worst cases of rhabdomyolysis occur. Details of the horrible symptoms are explained further below.


Roots of Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis is an injury usually associated with muscle trauma caused by overexertion of muscles, but it is not limited to excessive exercise. Rhabdomyolysis may also result from muscle trauma caused by accidents; staying in a fixed position for prolonged periods (after a fall or unresponsiveness after a stroke); extreme drop and rise in temperature (hypothermia and hyperthermia); certain viruses like herpes and influenza; and drug and alcohol abuse. Rhabdomyolysis is a rare but serious disease, and may even lead to death in some cases. All athletes are vulnerable to rhabdomyolysis, particularly CrossFitters. There’s nothing wrong with going stretching yourself a little beyond your limits but the mindset can damage your muscles if you go too far.

Annie Thorisdottir, Europe

Turn To Page Two To Find Out The Symptom’s For Rhabdo

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