It’s time to rethink the “no pain, no gain” attitude. A 17-year-old teen developed a severe case of strength training session at the gym.after going hard during a 90-minute
Jared Shamburger, of Houston, Texas, told ABC 13 he was “super duper sore” after pushing to keep up with his older brother and dad at the gym.
“I gotta catch up to them and get as big as them,” Jared explained to the outlet. “I have to go hard fast.”
It’s common to experience some post-workout pain, but Jared didn’t have just another case of delayed onset muscle soreness. The teen was taken to the pediatrician by his mother, who was concerned when the boy’s pain and swelling lingered, ABC 13 reported.
Jared was hospitalized for five days after being diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a condition that causes muscle tissue to break down and release byproducts into the bloodstream. One byproduct in particular, the protein myoglobin, can cause kidney damage.
Intense physical exertion can cause rhabdo, as it’s commonly known by athletes. But alcohol abuse, certain medications, and extreme temperatures are also associated with the condition.
How do you know if you have rhabdomyolysis?
Although many gym-goers suffer from achy muscles a few days after physical activity, rhabdo pain sets in immediately after, or even during, a workout. Signs that your pains may be something more worrisome include swollen muscles, weakness, nausea, vomiting, pain exceeding three days, and dark urine.
Rhabdo is treated with intravenous fluids — as in Jared’s case — to keep up the body’s urine production and ward off kidney failure, according to WebMD. Depending on the severity of the case, patients may also require dialysis, electrolyte management, or surgery.
Do certain exercises cause rhabdomyolysis?
CrossFit has gotten a lot of flack about pushing their athletes to the brink of rhabdo, as medical professionals link an uptick of cases to this type of high-intensity training. But in reality, any intense physical activity could cause the condition, including marathon training or spin class.
According to Dr. Guillem Gonzalez-Lomas, sports medicine orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone Health, the problem typically occurs when people go beyond their personal thresholds.
It’s common to cheer on your gym mates during the community workouts at CrossFit, which makes some go-getters push themselves further than they would doing reps at a traditional gym. “So someone may normally have stopped, but they’ve got four of their buddies cheering them on, and it can be exhilarating,” Gonzalez-Lomas tells MensHealth.com.
He says newbies to a particular activity are susceptible to injuring themselves, because they might not know the difference between getting a good workout and pushing too hard.
“I think if you are a seasoned exerciser or athlete at your sport, you have a pretty good idea where your max level is at,” Gonzalez-Lomas explains.
How do I prevent rhabdomyolysis?
Gonzalez-Lomas says dehydration could increase your chances of rhabdo, so it’s important to drink plenty of water when doing strenuous exercises in hot environments. You may not know something is wrong while exercising, but Gonzalez-Lomas advises everyone heed a few warning signs: discomfort and weakness.
Our strength bounces back after resting between sets, so muscle weakness could also signal that something is awry. Basically, you want to work hard, but stop before you’re in agony.
“You really shouldn’t feel pain in your muscles during a workout,” says Gonzalez-Lomas.
By Melissa Matthews