Nausea, chills and lightheadedness after massage

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of dr_rios_ec dr_rios_ec 9 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #11214
    Profile photo of Star

    Today was supposed to be “me day”… a good back-crackin’ by the chiro, then an easy “let’s-get-you-ready” for Vermont massage by Pete. I got to Mare’s at 10:00am where she had some work to do…and it felt great after. I then headed over to Pete’s. Apparently Pete ate the Mega-Wheaties today because he put the hurt on. I am admittedly a wimp, but he was causing some serious pain to my calves and feet. When I’d cry, “Pete! That’s WAY too hard!” Or, “You’re killing me!” he just kept pushing harder, until it felt like his finger went through my foot to the other side.

    Little by little I became nauseous and cold. I even thought to myself, “If I were sitting up, I’d pass out right now!” By the end, I was shivering, lightheaded and on the verge of puking. I coudn’t move fast, and he had another appointment waiting. Pete escorted me to the waiting room, where I sat for all of five minutes, freezing. Goosebumps-on-the-arms-and-shivering freezing.

    I walked out to my car, where I lay back in my chair for over an hour, with the windows rolled up…so the temp in the car must have well over 100 degrees. I shivered uncontrollably, while my stomach flip-flopped. My head pounded and I fought off crying. I decided that there was no way I was going to make it back for my 1:00pm and 2:00pm clients, so I called my office to get their numbers. I called Pete with my concerns of stroking out or having a heart attack, and he kind of made lite of it by saying this was “good training for stomach problems” in Vermont! (That’s where I nearly threw up)…and if that’s the case, then I’m not going to make it very far come Saturday. In all seriousness he said that he’d worked out some major stuff and it probably overwhelmed my system.

    But after another thirty minutes in the car, I needed water. I finally stopped shivering and felt well enough (barely) to drive down the street to the convienence store for a 1-liter of water and a Sprite. I stumbled in and out. While I sat for another twenty minutes in the car, I called Mare. She agreed that Pete must have worked out some toxins, and that combined with me being hypoglycemic and run-down made a bad mix.

    I waited long enough so that I could drive safely. I drove home, called the remaining three clients to cancel (that’s only the second time in six years that’s happened!) and crawled into bed with my kitty. I slept for two hours then lay with my feet elevated for another half-hour. And now I’m left with a humongous headache but I could finally stomach some cereal and more water.

    Now of course I’m worried about the residual junk in my system, and if I can recover before Saturday. Any thoughts or similar experiences?

    Profile photo of KitKat

    That sounds awful. I feel your pain. I have flu like symptoms for 2-3 days post massage and never schedule one closer then 2 weeks to my race.
    Drink lots of water and make sure to take your vitamins. Good luck and well wishes to a speedy recovery.

    IMO I’d go to another massage therapist in the future. They should stop or lighten up if you tell them to. You are the paying client.

    Profile photo of chris91180

    Massage therapists always say they are working toxins out of your muscles. This is technically correct, but not the kind of toxins you would think. The damaged muscle cells and cell byproducts become toxic when they get into your bloodstream. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The same thing happens from tissue damage from a hard workout. If you are dehydrated, or the tissue damage is severe, you get symptoms of rhabdomyolysis. Here is a link with some more info. See if this sounds a little like what you are experiencing.–tm6355.html

    When the tissue is damaged, the inflammation draws water into the tissue from the bloodstream and dehydrates you, which makes it even more difficult for the body to get rid of the ‘toxins’. So always make sure you are well-hydrated before a massage. If you get these kind of symptoms that severely again, you should probably be seen by a doctor just in case you were to experience renal failure. Not likely, but you really don’t want to take any chances.

    Profile photo of chris91180

    Shoot.. that link doesn’t work.. just do a google search for “rhabdomyolysis yahoo health”. It’ll be the first result.

    Profile photo of tri-ac

    that does sound awful (and his lack of concern is doubly so)

    i’ve had rhabdomyolysis, and it didn’t provoke the symptoms you had (not in my experience anyway). In my not-a-doctor opinion, it actually sounds like shock. I’ve experienced something like the symptoms you describe after cutting myself during a pumpkin carving accident (story some other time…) and that lasted a shorter time than you describe.

    are you ok, now?

    can one of you medical trifueler’s pipe in here?

    [EDIT: that rhabdo link chris provided does indicate those symptoms…i think whatever it is, you should get a live in person medical opinion. they will likely test your blood to see if the condition is receding or constant…renal failure is not a good thing.]

    Profile photo of chris91180

    There are different types of rhabdo and they may not have the same symptoms, especially the drug-induced kind caused by cholesterol medications (the most common).

    Profile photo of kylie

    here is the link from above

    I know I have to drink a ton more after a hard massage, and if I’m a little sick it can be a factor in making in worse. Hope you start feeling better — and best of luck for Vermont :)

    Profile photo of tri-ac

    i’m worried star
    please post and tell us you followed up with a doc

    Profile photo of Star

    I appreciate your thoughts and concern. I had a splitting headache all evening, but was able to stomach some tomato soup later on. Pete called me on his way home to see how I was doing…he’s a great guy, a Ph.D. and very knowledgeable and experienced in ultras and IM. I’m sure he didn’t do anything intentionally to make me sick. He apologized profusely when I told him I had to cancel my appts for the day! Of course, I may have PTSD when I return to him :)

    Today, my headache has subsided (still back there, but maybe partially due to the weather here today). I’m continuing to drink lots of water and took my vitamins. I feel human again! I even went for a walk-jog, and felt good.

    I hear your concerns about Rhabd…I’ll chat with you brother (who is a doc) and see what his thoughts are. I can’t imagine that’s the case…but I will be safe.

    Profile photo of dr_rios_ec

    Hello Star:

    I am really sorry that you went through a rare case of decompensation of your body.
    First of all, I would like to throw a couple of ideas about Rhabdomyolisis.

    I would say that whatever happened to you that day, is way far from a case of rhabdo. I can not asure you, it is impossible to diagnose over a triathlon site, but! reasons for rhabdo are completely different from what you had as a clinical presentation.

    Take in mind that it is very rare even for a ultrarunner to get a case of muscle tissue breackdown so masive that will cause rhabdomyiolisis that has systemic impact damaging the kidneys for example.

    That is for sure that everytime we go out and put miles on our bodies running, biking or swimming we do destroy some muscle fibers, but that is not going to cause a tremendous case of decompensation of your body, I am sure with hemodynamic impact, since you were feeling like passing out, nauseous and so on.

    My advice, consult with a doctor, what you had might be a viral infection, that was striking you, maybe an electrolite imbalace, dehydration, food poisoning. But rhabdo or toxins messing up your body because a hard handed massage therapist????(is really sounds funny) Mmmmm I might rethink about that once now, and twice on sunday!

    Maybe a consult with your primary care, or sports doc, some labs, will give some “real” light about what happened to you. Maybe you where just bonking, after training and some painful therapy with your therapist, triggered a fast comsumption of glucose in your body and you hit the wall.

    Just some ideas my good friend.

    Internet is a great tool of knowledge, but works 100 times better consulting the right profesionals.

    My best wishes to you, hoping that this message finds you all recovered and back into action

    Hasta la próxima:

    Profile photo of Star

    Doc Rios! Good to hear your input…Thank you! I’m going to see Pete today (for a foot taping) and we’ll talk more about it, and see what his partner thinks. I haven’t spoken yet with my brother, but I will see what he says too. As I had told my chiro, I was feeling the scratchy throat that I get when I taper…so maybe my body was fighting something.

    If I continue to have crazy symptoms after Vermont, then I’ll definitely get it checked it out…but since we leave tomorrow, I don’t have the time to go now. I’ll monitor my body very carefully up there. No race is worth a kidney :)

    Profile photo of dr_rios_ec

    Just a little list of the causes and symptoms from an acute or subacute case of rhapdbomyiolisis:
    1. MOST IMPORTANT! Trauma(crush syndrome, extensive burns, electrical shock)
    2.Muscle isquemia due to: thrombosis, embolism, vasculitis, sickle cell disease, pressure necrosis, tourniquet shock syndrome
    3.Drugs:ethanol, methadone, ethylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, CO; thiazides with a cronic comsuption; overdosage of barbiturates, heroin or cocaine; cholesterol lowering agents idiosyncratic reaction.
    4.Malignant Hypertermia.
    5.Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
    6.Infections with clinical severity: clostridia, Legionella, staph, Leptospira, Shigella
    7.Viral:echo, coxakie, influenza, cytimegalovirus, herpes, EBV, HVB.
    8.Genetic defects: carnitine deficiency, phosporilyse deficiency, etc
    9.Brow recluse spider bute, snake bite, hornet sting.
    10. LSD abuse.
    11. Muscular stress after long strenous exercise: marathons, ultramarathons. (very rare)

    1.dark, red, or cola colored urine color
    2.muscle tenderness
    3.weakness of the affected muscle(s)
    4.generalized weakness
    5.muscle stiffness or aching
    6.unintentional weight gain
    8.joint pain

    Taked from:
    Practical Guide to Care of the Medical Patient 6th.ed, Fred F. Ferri, MD; Mosby

    PD: Take in mind that the target organ that gets literally “fried” with rhabdo is the kidney, with the subsecuent myoglobinuria and lost of renal function.

    Profile photo of dr_rios_ec

    A much more simple explanation of your case:

    A vagal response due to the pain inflicted by your therapist.
    But! not a case of a crush syndrome! ;-)

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