Don’t Overexert, Athletes

 In Health & Current Events

Three University of Oregon football players were hospitalized after grueling workouts. ACC and SEC enthusiasts can skip their jokes about Pac-12 teams being soft. These players’ medical conditions are no laughing matter. What happened to them can happen to you personally, and you could be killed by it.

Based on a story in The Oregonian, the mother of one of the players that were hospitalized said her son was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis is a rare but serious medical condition that results from muscle injury after intense workouts. It shows through a classic triad of symptoms – muscular pain, fatigue, and dark urine. As the muscle breaks down, cellular aspects of muscle spill to the bloodstream. These materials can hinder kidney function, potentially leading to kidney failure and even death.

These three players will not be the first young athletes to endure rhabdomyolysis from hard workouts. In 2011, 13 University of Iowa football players were hospitalized after the start of January workouts. Reports at the time described players doing 100 bench presses and 100 squats within certain levels of time.

According to football players at a high school in Oregon, their August “football immersion camp” work outs were held indoors without conditioned air despite temperatures exceeding 90 degrees outside. In one exercise, athletes had to do switching chair dips and push ups with consecutively briefer times, all without rest periods. Players relentlessly performed seat dips and push-ups for up to five minutes.

Rhabdomyolysis isn’t only limited to competitive sportsmen. It has been reported in fire fighters, police officers, military recruits, and weightlifters. The condition was described by a 2014 study in two independent twenty-somethings immediately following spin classes.

Rhabdomyolysis isn’t even the most scary outcome of these workouts. In the muscles, these programs could cause compartment syndrome in a small number of men and women. Athletes develop acute pain because of increased pressure within certain muscles in their arms or legs. That pressure decreases blood circulation through the leg or arm, compromising the function and viability of the entire appendage. Restore blood flow to save the limb or else immediate surgery will become necessary to release pressure.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association along with other sports medicine organizations shared recommendations for faculty athletes to prevent rhabdomyolysis in 2015. In case you or your children play sports or simply exercise, the following tips should be heeded. Slowly introduce and ramp up your conditioning. In case you’ve had a pause from training – after winter break, spring break, summer, or an injury, take to new workouts slowly. Increase the volume, duration, as well as intensity of your conditioning.

Also, customize your workouts to your own level of fitness, and don’t strive to do exactly the same work out as someone else. Don’t attempt to keep up with your exercise partner who’s more prepared for grueling exercise if you are returning from injury or a break from training. Lastly, trainers should not use demanding workouts as punishment for poor performance or actions.

It is necessary to grasp that these rare events usually are not merely potential in football, despite those scenarios gaining media attention. In the event that you participate in extreme exercise programs, or in case your son or daughter plays high school or college sports, be aware that it’s possible to suffer compartment syndrome and rhabdomyolysis at the same time. Take steps to avoid these conditions and seek immediate medical attention in the event you notice muscle weakness, pain, and dark urine.

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