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Old 11-14-2010, 12:20 AM   #1
Daniel Brando
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Rhabdo Recovery

Hi All,

I've been unfortunate enough to have been struck down with Rhabdo after a workout. I've done a lot of reading on the forums and for all those looking for a comprehensive write up on Rhabdo and DOMS see the following (WFS):http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2010/0...rhabdomyolysis

Basically if you have severe muscle soreness and rose/tea coloured urine get to a hospital!!!

While there have been a lot of posts about rhabdo experiences, I haven't been able to find much in the way of comprehensive posts on recovery. So please if you've got any information post away. Anything from diet, expected recovery times, to anything I should reading and beyond I'd find it really helpful.

For all those playing at home my ck levels peaked at around 130,000 but have since dropped to 112,000 and I've got an appointment to see a doctor on Monday to make sure that they're still heading in the right direction. I'd like to see at OT who's affiliated with a crossfit gym in my city to get on the best recovery track possible, does this seem like a good idea? Are there any questions in particular I should be asking either of these people?

I've been crossfitting for just over a year, although the last 6 months has been marred with injuries and illness which has impacted the times and ways in which I have been able to train. Nevertheless my lifts have been consistently going up and my times consistently going down. I am by no means a firebreather but I do ok. Recently I'd taken a week off because of tonsilitis, had a week to ease back into training and was starting to feel like I could begin to push myself again. The WOD was Pull ups and GHD sit ups 24,20,16,12,8,4 for time.

Finally I'd like to make it clear I don't blame the exercise (GHD Sit Ups), my gym or my trainers in any way. I was one of only a few in the class offered the exercise and the coaches have always made recommendations as to how we should scale the workout according to our ability and experience. In particular we were warned that GHD's can really mess you up for a while and while some athletes asked to use them they were told maybe next time you're not ready. I chose to use GHD's for the workout after I was offered them as I'd previously used them as assistance work for deadlifts on a number of occassions and was confident that I was familiar enough with them for this WOD.

I had a big long write up about what happened to me etc but it screwed up as I was trying to post it and I can't be bothered writing it all again. I'll keep updating this post with more info as developments are made.
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:31 AM   #2
Meghan Reid
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Re: Rhabdo Recovery

Glad to hear you're doing better.

Honestly, what concerns me *almost* as much as the rhabdo case is your statement that the last 6 months of training have been plagued with illness and injuries. The first I would attribute to poor nutrition/sleep/recovery, the 2nd to poor mobility and dumb luck (sometimes little nagging things that never would have really manifested themselves in a sedentary person are exacerbated quickly in your first year). Have your coaches suggested anything? PT outside of class? Mobility work?

Feel better man. I've never dealt with rhabdo so I can't offer any practical suggestions.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:45 AM   #3
Daniel Brando
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Re: Rhabdo Recovery

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Originally Posted by Meghan Leigh Ramos View Post
Glad to hear you're doing better.

Honestly, what concerns me *almost* as much as the rhabdo case is your statement that the last 6 months of training have been plagued with illness and injuries. The first I would attribute to poor nutrition/sleep/recovery, the 2nd to poor mobility and dumb luck (sometimes little nagging things that never would have really manifested themselves in a sedentary person are exacerbated quickly in your first year). Have your coaches suggested anything? PT outside of class? Mobility work?

Feel better man. I've never dealt with rhabdo so I can't offer any practical suggestions.
haha pretty much spot on both counts Meghan.

I've been finishing my last year of law school and while nutrition and recovery have been pretty good my sleep hasn't exactly been great. Having said that with all the time I've got now I might as well pay some more attention to my diet and try to impliment something like the block system (I'm already pretty paleo).

As for injuries some were just plain dumb, I broke my toe when I dropped a bar on it accidentally and I've had some niggly shoulder impingement and knee issues. The trainers have been great, both in providing subs for work outs and ensuring I'm hitting the right areas when rolling out and making sure I'm not doing stupid crap during WODs. I've seen a physio regularly in relation to both but the work the trainers recommend always seems to be a lot more effective than the physio. I'm hoping the OT affiliated with a crossfit gym will be a lot more effective in this regard, a couple of the other members of my gym have had great results with them.

Thanks for the well wishes
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:49 PM   #4
Brent Sallee
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Re: Rhabdo Recovery

So it was primarily your abs that were affected? Or was it your upper body as well?

I got near full-body rhabdo during water polo in high school and it was miserable. Light walking/swimming didn't help. Stretching hurt terribly. Really, the only thing you can do it manage the pain, get frequent checks on your kidney function, really clean up the diet especially right now, decrease the protein a bit (to avoid any complications with your compromised kidneys), and try to do something that is very, very light on the muscles affected but that sufficiently promotes blood flow. Essentially, it's a waiting game. You'll be the most sore you've ever been for a couple of weeks, in all likelihood.
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:54 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Rhabdo Recovery

Eat well,
sleep a lot
do as much mobility as possible, but dont push through pain.

Yeah....

Definitely bad stuff.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:39 AM   #6
Daniel Brando
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Re: Rhabdo Recovery

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Originally Posted by Brent Sallee View Post
So it was primarily your abs that were affected? Or was it your upper body as well?
It was everything from the top of my abs through to my hip flexors. I couldn't unclench my abs and it was the worst DOMS I've ever experienced.
I'm lucky in one respect, I can't imagine how unpleasant this would be if it was my whole body. I'm also learning what a central part that "core" is to just about everything haha.

Right now I feel like the muscles are constantly fatigued, even just from walking around. Which is to be expected, even stretching is causing a little bit of pain still so I'm just resting up (it's what the OT recommended too).

Had my first OT session on Monday, which was great. The OT freed up the lymph nodes in my knees and chest/shoulders to help with flushing out my system as apparently the ones in my hips were all spongy and backed up. I noticed the biggest change in the edema the morning after the OT (I still look a little like santa with my belly full of jelly but it's getting better). On the point of edema, this really freaked me out a few times crazy amounts of fatty looking stuff that just seems to move around my torso. It's disgusting and one of the things I'm finding most difficult to deal with from a psychological standpoint, but hopefully this will clear up entirely in the next few days.

The OT also did a little work to help sort out some knee/shoulder issues that were caused by my pelvis being misaligned.

I had some more blood/urine work go off today and will hear back about that in the next few days, hopefully the numbers are still heading in the right direction. I'm definitely feeling better but am becoming increasingly aware of just what a slow and process this is going to be.

Thanks for the words of wisdom
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:52 PM   #7
Mel Barnshaw
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Re: Rhabdo Recovery

I feel for you, Rhabdo sucks.

I had it in both arms back in March. I returned to training a few weeks later but avoided any upper body work for a couple of months. I was very lucky to have awesome trainers who knew a lot about it.

You'll probably feel pretty gross for a few weeks so continue to eat well, sleep well and drink heaps of water and when you do return to training really listen to your body as it's just been smashed for 6.

Hope you feel better soon! You'll be back before you know it.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:49 AM   #8
Allen Tluczek
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Re: Rhabdo Recovery

I'm going to visit my girlfriend in the hospital tonight. She went in last night on my recommendation when she told me her arms were swollen after doing Chelsea as one of her first workouts on Wednesday, then 150 burpees for time on Friday. She said her CK levels were high, but didn't give a number. Her kidneys are fine, she was told, but they found a high concentration of liver enzymes. Lets hope for a short hospital stay.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:01 AM   #9
Daniel Brando
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Re: Rhabdo Recovery

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Originally Posted by Mel Barnshaw View Post
You'll probably feel pretty gross for a few weeks so continue to eat well, sleep well and drink heaps of water and when you do return to training really listen to your body as it's just been smashed for 6.
Great advice, it's been around a fortnight since I went into hospital and I'm already feeling normal again (more on this below) . I know I've still got to take it easy but I've been lucky enough to be able to take some real liberties with these elements of my recovery (ie no work or study so I can sleep and eat whenever I damn well please haha) and I think it's really benefitted me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Tluczek View Post
I'm going to visit my girlfriend in the hospital tonight. She went in last night on my recommendation when she told me her arms were swollen after doing Chelsea as one of her first workouts on Wednesday, then 150 burpees for time on Friday. She said her CK levels were high, but didn't give a number. Her kidneys are fine, she was told, but they found a high concentration of liver enzymes. Lets hope for a short hospital stay.
Poor thing, it really blows in terms of putting you out of action for a while but so long as it's caught and treated she should be fine. The main thing is that her kidneys are fine. I've had a few blood/urine tests since to make sure all my "numbers" are headed in the right direction. I was told that one of the liver enzyme levels was high but that in all likelihood this was a result of the rhabdo (I was told the broken down muscle tissue was the same as that found in the liver and that's why that particular number came back high) and not something seperate.

As for the swelling was it all squishy, like fatty deposits or just muscle swelling? If the former it's probably just edema (freaked the hell out of me though), although my abs were just permanently clenched and swollen too for a few days after the WOD that got me. Either way swelling is just another symptom of this kind of trauma. I was told to try to avoid any heat on the area, avoid hot showers etc.

Rest, eat and sleep well and she'll be able to get back into her daily routine before she knows it.

Thank you both for your well wishes.


The results of my blood/urine tests came back and everything is headed in the right direction. I was still feeling pretty crummy at the time (a week ago Tuesday) but my ck levels had plummeted (relatively speaking) to just over 22000. Still somewhere in the vicinity of 200x what it should be but hey it's a good sign.

I'd really started to feel normal again as of Monday, but then I came down with tonsilitis, it seems I just can't catch a break this year...

I'm seeing the OT tomorrow morning again and hopefully can get the all clear to get back to the gym for some light work (after the tonsilitis of course). I'm thinking I'll gradually build towards something like the CFWF program and ease back into more WODs from there.

One thing I'm really noticing that hasn't returned to normal is my appetite. I'm just not hungry, I know I need to eat so I eat but I really don't feel any compulsion to other than that. I'm attributing this to two things, my water intake and lack of activity. My thinking is that my stomach is just full of water all the time and therefore I'm not hungry. That and/or having a fortnight of doing nothing has just meant my body has realised it doesn't need the calories. Either way it's kind of annoying the last thing I want is to lose more weight haha

Last edited by Daniel Brando; 11-23-2010 at 07:07 AM..
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:34 AM   #10
Allen Tluczek
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Re: Rhabdo Recovery

Daniel- glad to hear you are on your way. I can't imagine how you feel- I had a nasty cold a month ago and kept out of the gym for a week and was going crazy. This isn't real advise or anything, but while you are easing back into things, consider some light yoga. Flexibility is an area of fitness, one that generally gets overlooked in crossfit, and it was about the only thing that kept me sane when I couldn't get to the gym. Not that I know anything about yoga besides finding a TV show to record.

Update- the girl presented at the Urgent care I sent her to at around 78,000 CPK Sunday night. At 10 AM Monday in the hospital she was down to around 60K. They did ultrasounds of her kidneys and liver, everything looked fine. She is on 200mL/H IV. They are still puzzled by the liver enzymes, but not too concerned as everything is rapidly heading in the right direction. I am hoping she will be out early tomorrow. Right now she is just bored, but she has her computer and internet, plus her school work. I brought her a book yesterday, but her arms don't have the energy to hold it up to read it for very long. She seems most upset about the setback to getting her first pull up.
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