unusually stiff muscles - claritin or hot tub

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by tourdelivermore, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. tourdelivermore

    tourdelivermore New Member

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    I am a 43 year old fit recreational rider (6,000 miles/year, 12 centuries/year) who experienced an unusual event this weekend.

    After doing my usual brisk Saturday ride of 75 miles with the racing guys, followed by a 35 mile easy ride on Sunday; I have experienced extraordinary stiffness. Not just stiff, put painful...all leg muscles - calves, quads, even shins (didn't know these could get sore).

    The only differences and potential sources are:

    1) I took claritin beginning on Saturday for allergies
    2) I was in the hot tub after each ride (I have done this before without problems occasionally)

    Again, I do this level of riding consistently...what gives?

    Anyone have any thoughts?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    Sounds like possible allergy symptoms. My own joint pains get a lot worse during allergy seasons.

     
  3. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    Strange thing, I actually have the package insert for Claritin in my pocket right now (I just got a bunch of samples from a drug rep). It mentions zilch about possible muscle soreness.

    And I don't think hot tubbing would do any damage (it might actually increase circulation and be a benefit to some extent).

    Are you sure there was nothing more strenuous in your workout -- pace, intensity, hills, recovery time since last workout?
     
  4. tourdelivermore

    tourdelivermore New Member

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    Pace, intensity, hills and recovery were all typical. The only other thing I can think of was it was somewhat warmer...could hydration be a factor?

    The funny thing is that my wife who is also a cyclist experienced similar unusual pain. That's why I focused on those two elements that we did in common.

    This is nuts! I ride consistently...all of a sudden wham, I am hobbling around like it's my first 100K!

    It is day 3...I'm walking and resting trying get over this unusual episode.
     
  5. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    Ahh, hydration!! Hydration (lack thereof) can be a very big factor. A night of drinking out on the town prior to even minor workouts has given me some serious cramps during/after even minor workouts. Slight dehydration (due to any number of causese) during a 75mi ride could lead to some significant differences in recovery.
     
  6. davidbod

    davidbod New Member

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    I would guess hydration may be the biggest factor here also. The hot tub and the Claritin are both going to contribute to de-hydration. Combine that with maybe the first hot days of early Spring and they may have all contributed to putting you into a de-hydrated state.
     
  7. in.10.city

    in.10.city New Member

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    Didn't know Claritin causes dehydration. Where did you find this out?
     
  8. Smartt/RST

    Smartt/RST New Member

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    This is a very common misconception regarding heat therapy. Taking a hot shower, sitting in a hot tub or bath, etc, increases blood flow to the skin and can potentially decrease the amount of actual blood flow to the skeletal muscles. When you increase core temperature via (eg) sitting in a hot tub, your body works hard to release heat from the skin (especially the head). Conversely, the skeletal muscles are sources of heat (by product of energy conversion) in themselves, so if the body is struggling to keep core temperature down, it's possible that blood flow to muscles is being reduced. Heat has an analgesic effect, which is why people believe that it is good for muscles, but it's quite the opposite. If you really want to affect a positive theraputic effect on your legs, get in a tub full of cold water and a bag of ice for 10-15min...don't forget to stay really dressed up top! You're gonna need it! ;)
     
  9. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    For me, the symptoms you describe go with allergies and chronic or background low-grade sinus infections. Haven't had any of these problems in a while now, but I used to get this stuff about every 3-4 weeks when riding hard. In my diary, I noted that often a hard club ride would trigger the symptoms a day or two later, just like you describe. Sinus congestion would accompany my aches and pains.

    Doc just called it "allergic sinusitis", and prescribed various pills and sprays, none of which worked. Hot whirlpool baths helped, as did a good rest of 5-7 days.

    Certainly can't diagnose your problem, but believe overall immune system health is an important issue for riders training hard week after week.
     
  10. marijapetns

    marijapetns New Member

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    Hello dhk,
    I know I'm replying to a post you wrote years ago... I hope you are still on this forum... It's only that for the first time I've finally found someone association low -grade sinus infection with muscle pain/stiffness.
    I have on and off sinus problems, and used to bike a lot (regularly, a 25K commute daily) - I live at the moment in a very bike-unfriendly city so I do more running than cycling. But all in all fairly active physically. I noticed that I can tell that my sinus problems are getting more serious by this weird stiffness/pain in my leg muscle. My doctor always looks at me like I'm crazy. The muscle issues normally go away once my sinuses get back in order.
    I'm having an unusually bad episode at the moment....
    Basically just writing to say I'm glad someone else has connected these two issues....
     
  11. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Yep, still here after all these years. Sounds like you experience something similar to my issue after a hard ride or a few days of hard training. I use a daily anti-histamine nasal spray now to keep the allergy symptoms in check and the sinuses open. Also, I ride less, and don't do the crazy club rides much anymore. My attacks of "the crud" are rare now. Keeping the sinuses clear with anti-histamines (and decongestants if required) seem to be the ticket for me.

    I don't know if the problem is actually related to low-grade sinus infection, or just some kind of inflammation response in the muscles as I've never discussed the connection with my doctor. Deep breathing for hours outside in high pollen and/or mold conditions has to be a challenge to the immune system for allergic people, and being exhausted by a tough ride can't help either. I've got no medical training and haven't tried to research the issue.
     
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