Recovery from a (mild) stress facture

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by Jaap Francke, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. Jaap Francke

    Jaap Francke
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi all,

    My first post here on the BRS-website.
    I started barefooting in june and have been slowly increasing my barefoot runs. So far so good.
    Last week I hit the 10km for the first time at a speed that pleasently surprised me when I got home. Barefoot, no minimal shoes.
    Two days later I was massaging my feet, when I discovered a painful/tender spot on my foot and concluded it was an early stage of a stressfracture.
    When walking.running/hopping on one foot I ddidn't feel pain, but when i pressed with afinger on my 2nd metatarsal I could feel a mild pain.

    I guess I should be happy that I discovered it before it got the chance to get worse and after a week of rest I find it's getting better. Somebody told me my metatarsal will still be weak and recovering for a few weeks.

    My questions is when/how to start running again, some rules of thumb.
    - Should the pain be 100% gone before I start running again?
    - is it better to first run with regular running shoes? to see how it's doing
    - do I have to start with 'light' training first ? Like 2 kms?
    - how quickly can I get back to 8/10 km runs?
    - ....?

    Thanks for your feedback!

    Jaap
    (the Netherlands)
     
  2. Backfixer

    Backfixer
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    143
    This may or may not be a fracture, but can be a stress reaction. It may also be that your posterior part of the foot has become stiffer placing more strain into that joint. To be safe, 6 weeks is the healing period. A good sports chiropractor can be helpful since restricted joint and musculature and fascia in this area is going to resolve it with manipulation of the area. They will advise you if they feel something else is going on.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  3. Lorena

    Lorena
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    69
    I have exactly the same symptoms. No pain at all unless I poked on the second met and is mild. After 15 miles barefoot a week ago while training for my 1st full marathon in Jan the 14th. Still hoping I will be able to make it. Hope yours heal fast
     
    Tyler J L likes this.
  4. Jaap Francke

    Jaap Francke
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks @Backfixer for your reply.
    I think you're right that what I have is a stress response rather than a stress fracture.
    The 6-week advice seems a bit on the safe side. It's my impression that it applies to a 'real' stress-fracture. I was hoping that somebody would give an indicative recovery schedule for those 6 weeks. This could say: after 5 weeks no pain during running and walking and only a sensitivity when metatarsel gets poked.
    In that stage it is safe to do short runs of 3-5 km, etc.. Then I would know: Ah! I'm in the week 5 stage of recovery.
     
    Lorena likes this.
  5. Jaap Francke

    Jaap Francke
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yours need to heal faster with that marathon in January. People advise me not to underestimate this kind of problems. I would be interested to hear how you are dealing with your situation.

    I've taken rest for a week now. Yesterday I did some cardio-exercises at the gym and also ran 10 minutes on the treadmill with regular running shoes.... That didn't make my metatarsel any worse :). Now I'm thinking about what to do next.
     
  6. Lorena

    Lorena
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    69
    It sounds you are healing. That's awesome! I will see my PT today and I will be updating you of what she said. Certainly you did great not underestimating this issue, It is always better to catch them on time so we wait less. In my case this happened just one week ago and other than as you described having some sensitivity when I poked on it nothing more. I have been going to the gym in the meantime and suing the stationary bike for 90 min and the elliptical. Lift weights and almost every day working on my core plus bunch of foot drills which I normally do every day. I have noticed that the more active is my recovery the fastest I am back hitting the concrete again which by the way is my favorite. Plus every time I feel stronger.
    Thank you enormously for your reply and I will be more than happy to share mine. Honestly to find advice once you become a barefoot runner is not easy. Even find the right doc is not. Fortunately mine is and since I am her only barefoot runner for her the way I develop is interesting so helps me a lot too.

    Well, I will be back in a few hours :)
     
    Tyler J L likes this.
  7. Jaap Francke

    Jaap Francke
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    Which are your daily drills?

    I haven't really made up my mind what drills would be most important for me. I am aware that I need to strengthen my feet - since they've been shodded for 50 years. There's soooo many drills that you could do, I'm not sure which ones should be most relevant to me.
    On a daily basis I do:
    - using toe-spreaders for 2 hours a day
    - standing on one foot during toothbrushing
    - rolling from left to right to the sides of my feet.
    - burpees (land on forefoot)
     
  8. Lorena

    Lorena
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    69
    Hi!

    Sorry for the lateness on reply to you, But it happens that my PT was packed so I just got my X-ray results. No fracture at all!! just a big knot between my 2nd and 3rd met so my doc will treat it. Even so those 2 solid weeks without running helped me to refresh so I did 9 yesterday and all good and I am able now to go back to my marathon training.
    All the foot drills I do I learned them from YouTube so I do them everyday. One that helps me in particular is to combine a squat with calf rises. I do at least 50 to a 100 4 or 5 days a week. Specially after running. I learned those from the Soc Doc plus the paleo chair feels so comfortable as a stretch and as a mobility. Specially that mobility part used to be bad. I started taking my running seriously at 45 close to my 46 now I am almost 48 next month so my flexibility has improved a lot plus my strength. I can tell you that I move my feet all the time, spread my toes, walk on them, when I am at the gym between sets I move my ankles and feet too and I am barefoot all the time and only wear xero sandals to run errands but the rest is no shoes at all. Zero! nada! so I guess that has also helped me tons. At the gym I am barefoot as well is like the toes help to engage better every leg exercise. Some yoga is always a must.

    Well, hope my reply helped some. At the end we are not many barefoot runners so this has been one of the best supporting websites or the only one perhaps where we can find so much information and also comfort when we are injured. As runners we feel like caged wild animals when we can't be out hitting the pavement so patience is one of the best lessons I have learned when I got rid of shoes after I got my worst injuries of all (my sartorious) while racing wearing shoes of course. After that it has been an incredible journey that has changed my body and soul in so many healing and positive ways :)

    Oh! I forgot to add something. When we are injured we work hard to recover and actually active recovery shorten the healing time but once we are ready to roll again, sometimes we may stop doing those so important rehab exercises so I have experienced that when I did was a mistake. And now that I do them almost every day are paying off. I mean as rehab such as simple leg rises on 4 sides to name some. Just a simple advice
     
    #8 Lorena, Dec 4, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
    Tyler J L likes this.
  9. Jaap Francke

    Jaap Francke
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks Lorena for your reply.

    Good to hear you don't have stress-fracture at all!!
    I haven't seen a doctor (I'm a DIY kind-of guy) but I think I have 2 in my right foot.

    This gives a good impression of what drills you do.
    I must say I'm impressed - you seem quite disciplined. I tend to think that all those exercises one can find seem like a good idea, but nobody is actually doing them in a structured way. You proof my assumption is wrong.
    I have my periods when I do some exercises, but i tend to skip them as soon as I can do some serious running without problems.

    - squat with calf rises - I had never seen this exercise. There seem to be a few variants. I'm impressed by your numbers. I'll try this exercise as well
    - paleo chair. Sitting like that has never been a problem for me - it's hardly an exercise for me
    - moving/spreading/walking - This is waht i also do as musch as possible throughout the day. However, I cannot spread my toes - those muscles are underdeveloped in my feet after 50 years of wearing shoes. I am doing some exercises for that. Not much pay-off yet
    - leg raises - seem useful but not for my feet. I was advised some time ago to do lunges - I stopped doing that when my knee-pain had disappeared - I think I should start doing those again.
     
  10. Lorena

    Lorena
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    69
    Hello again,

    sorry to hear you may have 2 stress fractures. How about an x-ray. By now it should show if there is a fracture so you have peace of mind. Is the pain too bad now? 6 to 8 weeks is the average healing time but your body will tell you best. You may still feeling little pain but if you can walk briskly for about an hour without pain then you can start running a little bit. Walk run to test yourself.

    Yes, I have become discipline since my goal is complete the full marathon so strength is the only way to go so I will not abandon that anymore. At our age we supposed to be doing strenght routines at least 3 times a week and for what I have learned work on our glutes more than that. Maybe 5 days a week.

    Here is the link from Doc Soc. It has been very helpful to me.

    You said you cannot spread your toes well, guess what? It was not easy for me neither. Like I mentioned I will turn 48 and I left the shoes a year and a half ago so I was a prisoner of shoes as well for almost all my life. What I do is spread them all the time and I use my fingers to open the joints of my feet as well.

    This has helped me a lot as well:

    http://teamdoctorsblog.com/2011/07/...dc-demonstrates-how-to-self-adjust-your-toes/

    There's a lot of information to help us as barefoot runners on that website.

    Hope I could help a little and let me know how are you improving. At the end is never too late to start :)
     

Share This Page