THE CLINIC: Muscle Control Loss Related to Blood Pressure?

Fri, 24 May 2013 - 10:07 p.m. MT
Credit: ARA Staff - American Running Association

QUESTION:

I’ve grown concerned recently on my runs of 45 minutes or longer. I lose control of my ankle and foot, and experience cramping, which I know is related to the stroke I had several years ago. I am only 44 years old, and do not want to give up running. I haven’t experienced many muscle-related problems until now, though I do have occasional balance issues. How can I prevent the cramping and loss of muscle control? Should I be concerned about the way this condition is advancing? I hope to keep running if at all possible.

Kevin Mallory

Augusta, GA

 

ANSWER:

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. Muscle spasticity during exercise is not uncommon in your situation, and may represent blood flow problems triggered by the running. It is not impossible to get a handle on these symptoms, but you must seriously consider a different activity if they do not go away with a medication intervention.

Ronald Lawrence, MD

Malibu, CA

 

 

(RUNNING & FITNEWS® September / October 2011 • Volume 29, Number 5)

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