Post-workout muscle pain or Rhabdomyolysis?

How to tell the difference.

Due to new high-intensity exercise routines, hospitals have seen a rise in cases of rhabdomyolysis. Exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis is the breaking down of skeletal muscle, resulting in a release of creatine kinase (CK) levels and myoglobin in the blood stream, which can damage the kidneys.

The diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis is commonly established by taking a thorough history and observing spikes in activity levels, as well as determining if CK levels are 5-10 times higher than baseline, with a urine test providing the definitive diagnosis. Pain is considered as a critical part of the clinical picture. It is often described as a localised soreness of a muscle group that is more intense than would be expected with an over-use injury.


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