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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 March;42(1):92-4

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Exercise-induced, persistent and generalized muscle cramps. A case report

Dickhuth H. H., Röcker K., Niess A., Horstmann T., Mayer F., Striegel H.

From the Medical Clinic and Polyclinic, Department of Sports Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany


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We are ­reporting on a 46-­year-old man who has suf­fered of ­muscle ­cramps for 4 ­years, occur­ring imme­di­ately ­after jog­ging and ­playing ­tennis and ­lasting for 7-8 ­hours. ­Repeated neu­ro­log­ical, ortho­pedic, ­internal med­ical and endo­crin­o­log­ical exam­ina­tions ­showed no path­o­log­ical find­ings. Phys­io­therapy, sup­ple­men­ta­tion of ­fluids and elec­tro­lytes had no ­effect, nor did med­i­ca­tion ­therapy ­with ­muscle relax­ants. ­During spi­roer­gom­etry ­without med­i­ca­tion, ­there was an over­pro­por­tional ­increase of ­heart ­rate and res­pir­a­tory ­rate ­with ­delayed pCO2 ­increase ­after exer­cise ­with oth­er­wise ­normal ­blood gas ­levels. ­This reac­tion was con­sid­er­ably ­reduced ­during spi­roer­gom­etry ­under β-­blockade (metop­rolol 100 mg); at the ­same ­time, the ­muscle ­cramps ­could no ­longer be ­induced. ­Both exces­sive res­pir­a­tory reg­u­la­tion and ­direct hyper­ad­re­nergic stim­u­la­tion ­should be dis­cussed as the pri­mary ­cause of the ­muscle ­cramps. ­According to ­recent find­ings, β-­blockers ­with ­intrinsic sym­path­o­com­i­metic ­activity ­should be ­avoided in ­therapy.

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