Crossfit and the Risk of 'Rhabdo' - myfoxcarolinas.com

Crossfit and the Risk of 'Rhabdo'

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Charlotte, NC - Ashley Hall has played high level soccer for years, so she knows what it means to push herself. But after her high school soccer coach suggested she and some teammates try Crossfit, she pushed herself too far and wound up in the hospital.

"I’ve been sore so many times, but it just honestly felt so different. I [knew] 'something’s not right'," says Hall.

After completing a particularly grueling Crossfit workout including numerous sets of pushups, Hall was in extreme pain. She couldn't extend her arms, and for a few days it continued to get worse.

She had developed rhabdomyolisis -- or 'rhabdo' as it's commonly referred to -- a potentially serious condition sometimes caused by overexertion of muscle tissue. It occurs when muscle tissue breaks down and gets into the blood stream.

Sports medicine physician Eric Warren says rhabdo is relatively rare but that he's been seeing more and more of it. He also says it can be very serious and can lead to something as severe as kidney failure.

Hall's case was of a serious nature. "We went to the doctor’s, they ran a couple blood tests and they said you need to get to the emergency room immediately," says Hall. She spent three days in the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit.

"I was scared because I had never heard of it. I had never been in the hospital before,” Hall says.

Rhabdo, along with other injures, are a real risk when doing intense exercise like Crossfit. But in most cases, injures can be avoided by simply using common sense.

"The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body, and take your time," says Dr. Warren.

Crossfit SouthEnd owner Stuart Brauer agrees. "We tell people when they come in the gym, we need you to engage your brain. If something is not feeling right or you feel like ‘this is too hard’… slow down. It’s as simple as that. Do less," he says.

Basic Crossfit Movements

Brauer says he believes the benefits of Crossfit outweigh the risks. "Everything we do is natural and safe. These are movements found in nature that our bodies are kinesthetically and anatomically designed to accomplish.”

The bottom line is: intense exercise and function movements like those found in Crossfit workouts are safe and effective as long as you do them properly and know your limits.

 
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