By Sandra Rose  | 

Getty Images

Rhabdomyolysis is a serious medical condition that is caused by the rapid destruction of muscle fibers, usually after intensive workouts.

What Causes Rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis is caused by the rapid breakdown of muscles that releases muscle fibers and other contents directly into the blood stream.

This condition affects mainly body builders and people who exercise too strenuously, causing damage to the muscles.

Other factors include drugs or alcohol, medications, electrolyte imbalances, viruses, severe infections, hypothyroidism, and more.

Rhabdomyolysis occurs after extreme muscle damage caused by lifting heavy weights or doing too many reps on weight machines.

Personal trainers often advise weight trainers to "feel the burn" and "no pain, no gain" wile working out.

The burning sensation is caused by a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles when the muscles are fatigued or weakened.

Signs & Symptoms

The first sign of rhabdomyolysis is a sharp, stabbing pain in the muscles. The pain will be severe, followed quickly by tenderness, weakness and massive swelling (compartment syndrome) of the muscles.

The swelling is caused by leaking of muscle fibers and the movement of fluid from the blood into the damaged muscles resulting in low blood pressure and shock.

A protein called myoglobin is released from the muscles which damages the kidneys, resulting in low volume of dark brown colored urine.

If not treated in an emergency room, rhabdomyolysis can lead to confusion, coma and death.

Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Severe muscle pain
  • Immobility (unable to move)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Low to no urine production
  • Heart attack
  • Bleeding from everywhere (blood clotting disorder)

    Go to the nearest emergency room if you feel a sharp, stabbing pain in your muscles followed by tenderness, weakness and swelling of your muscles.

    In the video below, Mr. Olympia Shawn "Flexatron" Rhoden rests briefly between short reps to prevent damage to his muscles.

    This has been your Medical Minute.



    Any medical information published on this blog is for your general information only and is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice. You should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider. and its affiliates cannot be held liable for any damages incurred by following information found on this blog.

    • Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!


    • Tiffany Miller

      it looks nasty after awhile

    • Ni Ni

      All them muscles is a complete turn off .

    • TheOwley

      I knew someone who ended up in the ICU with this. His urine was clear as mud.

    • WhoKnew

      That is just beyond gross to look at.

    • Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!

      i like a 'strong arm' as much as the next woman, but this mess looks painful.... no thanks!

    • Wreckognize Game

      Katt, come jump on his big stupid ass

    • Renee26

      What's that I see in those grey sweat pants??

    • Ihatemoney

      I love seeing a man with strong ??, strong back and a flat stomach. Makes me wanna ??

    • Dahl

      Man, why did I go back to look...?

    • Roderick2011

      You're one of those naughty girls, I see.

    • Roderick2011

      They aren't for women anyway.

    • Ni Ni

      You right. ?

    • Renee26

      Lol you was lookin too ?

    • Renee26

      The first thing I saw

    • Logan Roberts


    • TMW

      Dang!! But I think that’s something in his pocket...

    • Renee26

      I was trying to figure out what it was... First I thought there's no need for a flash light at the gym...Maybe it's a 5lb weight ?

    • Roderick2011

      I think it was his phone.

    • Renee26

      Aww ok... He play too much ?

    • Alextra Ballard

      Lmaooooooo....girl yew stewpit!!!

    • Alextra Ballard

      That is not my type of man...ain ntun attractive bout them muskels

    • Alextra Ballard

      Absolutely Gross

    • Alextra Ballard

      Phone?!?! Dasa long fat phone

    • Alextra Ballard

      Ni why you involving Katt?

    • rodt

      Like yall fat asses have to worry

    • Faithz

      He look like he's in pain.

    • Wreckognize Game

      I was just tickled that Katt told Wanda's big ass husband he would jump on him. These weightlifters are some swoll dudes.?

    • Anika Kelly

      That is why you should get turkey after your workouts especially if your using weights. It restores muscle breakdown. Should have included that.

    • nick c

      He only likes white women though....