Killer Disease Caused by Exercise!

By Doyice Cotten

skull crossbonesIn January, 2012, this site published an article, Do You Know About Rhabdomyolysis? It is a Must! The article introduced the illness, Rhabdomyolysis, to readers and explained the effects of the illness. Risk management suggestions were also included.

In a recent article, presented a news item that appeared in the Columbus Dispatch. The article stated:

Rhabdomyolysis, an ailment long known in the medical community, occurs when muscle fibers break down, releasing myoglobin into the bloodstream. Myoglobin is harmful and can cause kidney damage.

 “There are two reasons why this is important,” said Kelsey Logan, a university-affiliated physician who serves on the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports. “One is that rhabdo can have potentially serious consequences: renal failure, compartment syndrome, death. Those are fairly serious.

 “And the second thing is, we know there are certain circumstances under which this is more likely to occur, and with fairly simple educational and practical techniques for prevention, those circumstances can be lessened so much.” [bold added.]

The article related to an earlier incident in which six Ohio State University women lacrosse players were victims of the disease. Since the incident, several parents of the victims have been imploring the president of OSU to take steps to teach the general public how to recognize symptoms of the disease, and, better yet, how to prevent Rhabdomyolysis.

Ohio State has released no details about the workouts that landed the players in the hospital.

 “That type of injury is 100 percent avoidable,” said Jay Hoffman, president of the National Strength and Conditioning Association from 2009 to 2012. “That should never have happened. That’s absurd. People need to understand that rhabdo is not inherent with training. It’s a good indicator of a training program that is inappropriate.”

Teaching the general public how to recognize symptoms and prevent rhabdo is why Kelly Becker’s parents have spent the past year asking OSU to publish a full report about the incident involving the women’s lacrosse team. Bill Becker, an attorney in the Ohio attorney general’s office, has stated that they are not interested in a lawsuit.

As we’ve said all along, we’re interested in making sure good things come out of this so it doesn’t happen at other universities or high schools, or to anybody playing sports. The only way that’s going to happen is if there is a published case history of this particular incident so everybody knows about it and everybody can learn from it.

Scott Anderson, head trainer at the University of Oklahoma and president of the College Athletic Trainers’ Society, stated that Rhabdomyolysis is caused by overdoing – and is referenced as an overuse syndrome.  He said it results from too much of a novel type of exercise. The participant does too much of activity in too short  of a period of time.


I urge the reader to click above on and read or re-read the original article. Also click above and read the entire Columbus Dispatch article.

  1. Rhabdomyolysis is not a joke! It often kills or disables a person for a year or more.
  2. Who needs to know about it? Anyone who participates in or directs strenuous conditioning or exercise.
  3. This means coaches, athletic directors, physical education instructors, personal trainers, athletes, persons trying to get in shape, ….  The list could go on and on.
  4. It is a preventable disease – Read the risk management guidelines in Do You Know About Rhabdomyolysis? It is a Must!

Photo Credit: Thanks to GuySie at