5th Metatarsal Pain - Any chance of running HM in three weeks?

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by BarefootBlues, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. BarefootBlues

    BarefootBlues
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    Background: I haven't worn shoes other than Skinners for a full year. I nearly always run fully barefoot, about 40-50km a week. I also walk (barefoot/skinners) and dance (in socks) a lot.

    First noticed slight soreness in my fifth metatarsal area when running about a week and a half ago. The only thing I'd been doing differently to usual was running more hills than usual. Like an idiot, I kept running on it for a couple of days, then had to spend three days resting because it hurt to walk. Tried running on it again when walking felt ok, which was only mildly achey, but the next morning I woke up with pain on walking again. At no point has pressing on the foot caused any pain at all. There was very slight swelling but no bruising.

    After complete rest for three days, there is now a very mild pain when walking normally (if I consciously keep my weight on the inside of my foot it feels fine). I'm signed up for a HM in three weeks. Is there any chance at all I might be able to run it? What should be my approach for exercising between now and then? Is it fine to increase weightbearing activity as long as I stop at the first feeling of pain?
     
  2. jjb

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    I have the same thing and saw an orthopedist about this yesterday. She pretty much said I had a tiny stress fracture at the top of my fifth metatarsal and tried to scare me with talk of a 'Jones Fracture' which I don't have -- at least based on my symptoms.(She was also peddling the fiction that barefooting causes plantar facitis.) Most likely it's from overdoing it on my part (too many miles, too soon).

    I got out of there without agreeing to wear a boot, as I've been there before and it's misery, but I hope it will heal on its own, provided I take a break -- sadly, a six-week run-free stretch.
     
  3. Barefoot TJ

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    Hi JJB, you might want to create your own thread in the Ask the Docs, so they can keep their responses separated. Thanks.
     
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  4. Dr. Mark

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    i would get an xray of the foot. with swelling and pain it sounds like an early stress fracture . if there is nothing severe on the xray (i.e. complete fracture ) it is fine to walk on it if there is minimal to no pain. progress slowly back to running w mix jog/walk. hope this helps Dr Mark
     
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  5. migangelo

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    Second getting an x-ray. Even if it isn't fractured and just bruised or if you have sprained some ligaments or strained some muscles, everything takes 6-8 weeks to heal. After that it takes time to strengthen. Starting with isometric contractions is safest. Progressing to weights and full body movements such as squats, dead lifts, single leg dead lifts, will help strengthen the entire chain. Hopefully that helps.
     

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  6. BarefootBlues

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    I think it must have been a strained ligament. I tried icing it and that helped a lot - not sure why I didn't think of it sooner. I ditched the rest of my training plan and rested, except for a couple of short test runs, and I also walked the course just to check I could get round if my foot hurt too much to run. Finished in 1:58, took a week off because everything was generally sore, and am currently on day 73 of a new daily running streak. Planning to run the race again next year in hope of getting a better time.
     
  7. Barefoot TJ

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    Wow, 1:58 for a walking half marathon?! That's an excellent time! Congrats! Good strategy too.
     
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  8. BarefootBlues

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    What? No, I walked the course about a week in advance instead of a last long run. I was running on the day.

    Winning time was about 1:20. I don't think walking in 1:58 would be physically possible.
     
  9. Barefoot TJ

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    I was gonna say...

    1:20 is great!
     
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