Stress fracture

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by jjb, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. jjb

    jjb Barefooters
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    Okay. This was unexpected. I think I have a stress fracture in my right foot.

    I've been barefooting since mid-July and have (I thought) been careful not to add too many miles at a time (no more than a half-mile per week) but I think I have hurt myself.

    It doesn't hurt as much while I'm running, but afterwards I'm in a fair amount of pain -- enough that I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep at night. I've seen a doctor and the X-ray was inconclusive. My MRI is scheduled for next week. I won't know the results until the 29th.

    If this is indeed a fracture, that'll be two this year: the first in my left knee from overdoing it as a shod runner between Jan. and April, and now this.

    What the effing eff am I doing wrong???
     
  2. Backfixer

    Backfixer Barefooters

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    Shod or barefoot, if you are having core and gait issues, you will pound your legs into the ground and have injuries. Regardless of what the MRI tells you, you need to have someone look at you, not just your gait.

    The kinetic chains in the legs into the pelvis is designed to absorb impact and act spring like. If that does not happen, you will have injury after injury.. Also, you are likely hunching your shoulders when you run which is a known compensation.

    My suggestion is to take some time off to heal and perhaps, find a good chiropractor who understands gait. Also, a good running coach can help. You can do a short phone video and upload it if you would like my opinion. Videos are a cheap and easy way to see gait issues
     
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  3. Christian Lemburg

    Christian Lemburg Barefooters
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    You write that pain is less during running. This not typical for a stress fracture. Less pain during running is indicative of muscular issues. Have you checked for trigger points, e.g., http://www.triggerpoints.net/symptom/dorsal-forefoot-pain ?

    A stress fracture should have increasing pain with weight loading. Read the Wikipedia article on stress fractures, they have exactly the opposite pattern as you describe, getting worse with exercise.

    Just my 2 cent ...
     
  4. jjb

    jjb Barefooters
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    Thanks guys. I won't get my MRI results until the 29th. I'll report back here then.
     
  5. jjb

    jjb Barefooters
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    Well, as promised, I'm back with my report and to my deep depression it is indeed a minor stress fracture of my right metatarsal. I've been given a fracture shoe, which is balls to walk in, and told to lay off any activity for at least the next four weeks. (There goes my half-marathon in March! %$^#@!!)

    Needless to say, I'm pretty upset/sad/frustrated/dismayed/pessimistic.
     
  6. petit-pied

    petit-pied Chapter Presidents
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    :sour: 2016 starts badly for you :meh: Good luck in the meantime. (I hope that's the good words... it's a google translate)
     
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  7. Tedlet

    Tedlet Barefooters
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    Stick with it jjb -4 weeks will be gone before you know it! The positive is -you know what the injury is, so you can fix it. Rest up and look ahead to a rehab plan..:barefoot:
     
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  8. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    You'll get through this.

    We all know how shoes weaken the foot's muscles, tendons, bones, structure, stability, etc. I've always believed that those who have worn shoes habitually are more prone to stress fractures. Not pointing you out here, as I don't know your history. Just putting this out there for discussion.
     
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  9. jjb

    jjb Barefooters
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    Well, I do wonder. I mean, I obviously developed a stress fracture in my knee in April because I was running shod, heel-striking, and adding too many miles too quickly. I reckon this fracture is simply a result of adopting something new. I wasn't living barefoot prior to mid-April, so I guess no matter how slowly I added miles to my regimen, there might be the chance my body would reject it at first.

    That said, I think there's possibly something up with my right leg. When I walk, I tend to cross the midline of my body. This might be putting unnecessary stress on my right foot somehow. As soon as I'm better, I'm getting my gait analyzed.

    Pretty discouraged at the moment though. The thing that really messes with me is this fracture shoe I'm supposed to wear. I mean, I get that I'm to keep my foot as immobile as possible at the moment, but it's got such a thick sole (and a drop) and it's impossible to walk on. I think I'm just going to get out my crutches for longer walks.
     
  10. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    It helps to go barefoot as much as possible in everyday for a good period of time before picking up barefoot running. The progression to barefoot running has to be slow. How slow depends on the weakness of the person's structures, and therein lies the tricky question...how do we know how weak our structures are...until it's "possibly" too late?

    Dr. William here will give you an assessment on your form if you could submit a video of you running.

    Don't give up hope.
     
  11. jjb

    jjb Barefooters
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    Thanks. I'm feeling pretty hopeless at the moment. I do hope to have a gait analysis, as soon as I'm out of this boot. I'll check back in a month!
     
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  12. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    the doc is right. go have your core assessed. NOW. you can work on that while your foot is repairing itself. a good sport chiro, one registered on rehab2performance, someone doing DNS, FMS, SFMA are a good start.
     

  13. jjb

    jjb Barefooters
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    Sorry. I'm a newbie. What do these stand for?
     
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  14. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I have no idea either.
     
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  15. Barefoot Ken Bob

    Barefoot Ken Bob Administrator
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    The resting for 4 weeks IS a good start.

    I broke my metatarsal (traumatic injury, not repetitive stress), but waited several weeks before walking much distance (I was "lucky", I broke it at the start of my summer 2-month leave from work). 6 weeks in, I walked our local 4th of July 5K, slowly with my 12-year-old dog (PsychoHerman.com).

    I will say, though not recommend, that I went without the cast/boot - simply because the orthopedic people never got back to me after my doctor sent the referral (a few times). And they said they couldn't see me until they got the referral (whcih my doctor sent a few times). I already knew from my doctor's X-ray that the bone was not displaced. So after a couple weeks, my foot was already healing, and having read and learned a lot about others' injuries on various barefoot running forums for more nearly 20 years, I had a pretty good idea of how to treat my foot... Hint: it has a lot to do with resting - secondly, when you do walk (or later run), you will have an excellent source of feedback letting you know when you're putting too much stress on your foot - simply try to find a technique for walking that doesn't hurt (or at least hurts the least) - practice that technique with both legs - otherwise, you'll be limping, and cause all sorts of other imbalance issues.

    More info on my injury: http://barefootrunning.com/?s=broken&submit=Search

    Secondly: http://how.barefootrunning.com

    Most importantly, find something to do while healing - subscribe to NetFlix, read some books, cuddle with your dog/cat/spouse, start thinking about how to improve your technique (ie: Bruce Lee wrote a book about Kung Fu, while healing).
     
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  16. jjb

    jjb Barefooters
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    Ken Bob! Thank you!

    I'm all done with the resting portion now and I have begun walking again. But I have definitely noticed that my right and left feet strike the ground differently when I walk. I'm dying to figure out why/what's going on/how to fix this, as my left food is a perfectly happy bare foot, but my right foot seems to be rebelling.

    And frustratingly, I am having some pain in my right foot again, despite the month in the boot.

    So I'm pretty frustrated. I want to keep this barefooting thing going so badly but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't experiencing some serious doubts about it. Maybe I'll have to head down your way some Sunday morning and run for you to see what you think. There's just nobody in my area (LA Valley) who is versed in this stuff.
     
  17. Barefoot Ken Bob

    Barefoot Ken Bob Administrator
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    First of all, your feet should not be "striking" the ground while walking or running ... As long as we use words like that, it's easier to justify actually "striking" the ground. Remember the earth is our friend, be nice to her.

    Reserve foot-strikes for jumping, uhh wait, not even then. Bend your knees to remove the impact. Allow your entire foot to touch the ground to distribute pressure over more surface area.

    2. A month in a boot does not mean your foot is healed. It's simply healed enough to let it come out of the boot ... as long as you don't abuse it, or expect it to be completely healed. You can expect some pain in that foot for a year or more! (at least occasionally)

    Now is time to exercise, a little, very little, and build gradually, very gradually.

    3. Sunday is Valentines day, so my wife and I will probably spend most of the day doing stuff together.

    You can come down Saturday - most any Saturday (actually doing a Play-Fun-Shop this Saturday at 8am)
    http://www.thebarefootrunners.org/t...bobs-play-fun-shop-huntington-beach-ca.19132/

    or make an appointment for a different Sunday.

    With that in mind, your own nervous system is your best coach. If it hurts, you're putting to much stress on your feet/body. Whatever anyone can see from observing you from outside is minuscule compared to what you can sense from within.
     
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  18. jjb

    jjb Barefooters
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    I suppose I should modify my vocab. I'm not "striking" the ground; I'm really careful to walk as smoothly as possible and when I was running I was trying to follow what I've learned from your website and elsewhere and bending my knees, and moving as smoothly as possible.

    That said, I still think there's something up with my right foot. Or it's my multiple disc bulges in my back that are throwing me out. In any case, I'm not intending to begin running even a little until the beginning of March. Hopefully I'll have a better sense of things by then.

    In the meantime, perhaps I'll see you some weekend soon!
     
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  19. Barefoot Ken Bob

    Barefoot Ken Bob Administrator
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    Look forward to meeting you, and hopefully, helping you figure out what's up with yourself...
     
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