Posts tagged: endurance

Stress Fracture?

By Jay Stephenson
July 10, 2011

Ok so here we go.  Below this paragraph you will find all lots of  info about stress fractures.  It is tedious to read but if you have a stress fracture and really want to get better you will probably read it.  You should consider seeing if your insurance will cover the Exogen “bone healing system.”  It is very pricy but I can speak from experience that it DOES get you back running faster.  A lot of businesses are covering the cost of this unit for their employees just to get them back to work faster.  You can try to buy one on ebay, but apparently it is a felony.  Something about it being a prescription item.  If you have a stress fracture and you are trying to back in shape quickly email me at coachjay@gogorunning.com.  I have a training plan called “Stress Fracture Return.”  It is for sale here:

Stress Fracture Return to Running Plan

What is a Stress Fracture?
-Stress fractures are usually causes by repeated impact. This is different from a complete break in a bone when the bone is completely broken with a single sudden impact.

Prevention
• Eat Calcium and Vitamin D rich foods
• Get a healthy amount of sunlight (if you live in a region where there is a large part of the year with no sun you may need to get some artificial sunlight in low doses)
• Replace shoes at least every 300 miles run or every 3 to 6 months depending on activity level. If you wear the same pair of shoes every day they will not last as long as if you alternate days with multiple pairs. Also, if you can buy one pair of shoes that is specifically designated for athletic activity then do so.
• Do different activities on different days. This will stress different muscle groups and different bones. Also, if you are going to run every day then make sure you are running on soft surfaces at least 5 days a week. One more tip is to alternate flat runs and hilly runs. This will also help use different muscles and bones.
• Don’t do too much too soon or go too fast too soon. Make sure there is a gradual progression with everything you do.
• Strength training will help to increase bone density and muscle strength. Both of these will protect you from getting a stress fracture.
• If you feel the same pain again then rest for 2-3 days before trying the activity again. See you doctor.
• The amount of calcium need for bone repair is 1000-1500 milligrams.

Symptoms
• Pain increases with activity and throughout the day
• Possible bruising
• Swelling and tenderness at the site of pain

Immediate Treatment
• If you think that you may have a stress fracture you need to stop the activity immediately and get an imaging test as soon as possible. If you keep running or doing even easy or moderate activity you could break the bone all the way through.
• Apply ice on the injured area for 15-20mins and elevate the injury above your heart.
• Also, there are a few areas that you want to be careful icing due to superficial nerves. Those areas include the inside of the ankle, the back of your knee, and the outside of your calf close to the knee.
• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication may help to reduce the pain but they may also slow down the bone healing process.
• If you suspect that you have a fracture then try not to put any weight on the injured area until you see a doctor.

Imaging Tests
• It is very important to diagnose the injury early so that you can start treating it properly.
• We suggest getting an MRI or a Bone scan to detect a fracture early.
• If your doctor does not do an MRI or a bone scan then you might need to find a different doctor that is willing to get you one of those tests.
• A simple X-Ray may not show the fracture until 6-8 weeks after the injury

Nonsurgical Treatment
• The “Exogen bone healing system” is a low level ultrasound that cannot be duplicated by any other ultrasound machine. It heals fractures 38% faster, and heals 86% of non-unions. It takes takes 20mins a day (http://global.smith-nephew.com/us/patients/ABOUT_EXOGEN_14484.htm)
• Rest, Ice, Elevate…I don’t think compression is a good idea.
• Crutches and removable short-leg fracture brace shoe

Surgical Treatment
• Sometimes surgery is necessary to get the bone to heal

Start Training again
• You need to consult your doctor before beginning a program
• A stress fracture can take anywhere from 6 weeks to more than a year to heal all the way
• Start with non-weight bearing activity like pool running or swimming after two weeks of complete rest
• Transition to some biking after 4-6 weeks
• Transition to some running and some biking after 6-8 weeks
• Always take into account the doctor’s orders when following a training program

Let me know if you are recovering from a stress fracture…coachjay@gogorunning.com