CLINIC: Running After Stroke

Tue, 6 Dec. 2011 - 1:27 a.m. MT
Credit: ARA Staff - American Running Association

QUESTION:
I survived a stroke and while most of my issues now are with involuntary functions like balance, I do experience cramping in my foot on runs over 45 minutes. I was fit before my stroke, and even now I do not have too many problems with muscle control, so I’m a bit puzzled. The cramping causes a loss of control. This is dampening my desire to run longer eventually. What can I do to eliminate or reduce incidents of this? I’m a 44-year-old male.
 
Kevin MacDonald
Clarkson, MO

ANSWER:
Muscle spasticity during exercise is not uncommon in your situation, and may represent blood flow problems triggered by the running. Most neurologists would probably caution you about running, which is vigorous exercise, but as a runner I appreciate your addiction. Before asking you to abandon the exercise, I advise you to take a treadmill stress test—not to evaluate your heart, but your blood pressure, during running. If it is aberrant, taking an appropriate medication might spare you complications and be helpful to alleviate your symptoms.
 
Ron Lawrence, MD
Malibu, CA
 
(RUNNING & FITNEWS® January / February 2011 • Volume 29, Number 1)
 
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The American Running Association (ARA) and its Clinic Advisory Board disclaims responsibility and shall have no liability for any consequences suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site. ARA does not endorse specifically any test, treatment, or procedure mentioned on this site.


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