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Stress fracture (Read 1060 times)

Jill


    Hi everyone, I'm new to running (2 months) and have just discovered this site about a week ago. I'm training for a 5km race in September, but began getting pains in my shins a few weeks ago. I've invested in some new trainers and have not ran on it for a few weeks now. The pain persisted, and so I visited my doctor, who has diagnosed a stress fracture. However, for those of you who know anything about the health care system in the UK, that was about all she told me as my time was nearly up and she was obviously in a hurry to get the next patient in. She prescribed me a pain killer / anti inflamm drug and told me I couldn't run. No idea how long I can't run for, or if there are any other exercises I could do (cross trainer at the gym or rowing machine etc)or if I shouldn't even be walking. I'm in the process of finding out via the NHS email service, but was wondering if anyone here had any advice in the meantime? It does hurt constantly, but particularly when I walk. Has anyone had anything similar and do you know any good ways to aid recovery (apart from no running)? I really want to get back training! Cry Jill


    You'll ruin your knees!

      Jill, First of all, Welcome to the site! I am so sorry you are experiencing problems with your legs. I can't help but wonder if you are suffering from shin splints rather than a stress fracture (both legs versus just one is my reason). Anyway, I believe shoes could be a good place to start, getting the right fit and style for you would be very important. Here is a good website (http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/index.htm) for learning more about sports injuries. Perhaps a visit here will help you form a better idea of what your options are. Sorry I couldn't be more specific and more help. I really hate it when a doc takes little time to examine/determine the problem, then prescribes "no running"! The problem is that when you lay off for weeks, you feel better, but when you resume running, the pain comes right back! Good luck, Lynn B

      ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

      Mile Collector


      Abs of Flabs

        Hi Jill, I'm sorry to hear that you are diagnosed with stress fracture. What tests did your doctor do to make that conclusion? I'm trying to work out how it was determined.
          Hi Jill! Welcome to the sight. I have been through the stress fracture thing, so I can sympathize. As Mile Collector asked, I'm curious as to what your doc used to diagnos the fractures. Stress fractures can't be seen on regular x-rays. Nuc med bone scans are used to diagnos them...and having lived in a country with socialized medicine, I'm guessing it would be some time before you can get one of those?? I had fractures in both legs, so that is possible. Do you have any point tenderness though, or just generalized pain in the shins? Sorry, I've also worked in the medical field for 13+ years, so I whip out the terminology from time to time...if you aren't familiar with the term, does it hurt more in one particular place, say, if you push on it? Is the pain everywhere or just in the spot your press or does it radiate up or down the bone from that spot? If it is, in fact, stress fractures, treatment is rest. NO, I repeat, NO weight bearing activities for 6-8 weeks, at least. Swimming is a great idea for non-weight bearing activity during that time. When you start running again, consider it starting over. Just because you feel like you can run 5 miles, you can't! Stress fractures are an over-use injury, usually caused by increasing your training levels too quickly. Start slow, very slow and increase slow. If it hurts when you start, stop immediately & take a couple more weeks off. Take it from the idiot who thought she could "just run through it"...take the eight weeks off & follow the doctors orders!!! Best of luck & glad to have you on the site!! Eryn
          So do not get tired and stop trying. - Hebrews 12:3
          Jill


            Hi, It's just one leg, not both, and the doc just asked me questions and prodded my leg a bit, no scans and I don't think I'd get any unless I paid. The reason she didn't think it was shin splints is because I've not done ANY exercise on it for weeks and it's still just as painful to walk on as it was then. It feels bruised when touched in certain places, and I now walk with a limp. Is swimming the only exercise you'd recommend if it is indeed a stress fracture? Would shin splints have cleared up by now? Thanks for your help!
              I haven't had shin splints in 15 years, so someone else will have to cover that one. As for the stress fracture part of it, I also walked with a limp for a long time after I quit running. And the point tenderness lasted even longer. As for exercise, no weight bearing is the key. I asked my doc about just walking & he said no to that too. Well, ok, he said he might say yes to light walking for a sane individual, but that I'm not sane & light walking to me would mean 10 miles. I have no idea what he is talking about!?!? Wink Even walking should be kept to just what you have to do in a day for work, home, etc until the pain has decreased considerably. I'm not a strong swimmer, so I wasn't thrilled about just swimming laps. If you are in the same boat, try putting a floatation belt around your waist & do some resistance running in the pool. Your legs aren't touching the bottom, so you aren't bearing any weight. And it makes you darn tired!! Smile Other than swimming, he did say that biking was ok, but not to push that & stay away from elevation where you tend to stand on your pedals & push hard. I asked about yoga, but he said there are too many weight bearing poses, so that was out. Other than that, to the best of my knowledge, you are out of luck on the exercise thing. Sorry!! Just take the time off & heal. If it would make you feel better, read the "whine" thread & listen to all of us complain about our crappy runs lately & know that you don't want to run like that!! Smile
              So do not get tired and stop trying. - Hebrews 12:3
              Mile Collector


              Abs of Flabs

                Jill, I don't think rest alone will fix shin splints. It still comes and goes for me. I found a page several years ago with a whole bunch of folklores about shin splints. It talks about the various ways to fix the condition. Not all of them will work for you. You'll have to try them all and see what works. I swear by #3a. It's a little painful while doing it, but the shin splint goes away after about a week of daily "treatment". Please don't try it until your stress fracture is completely healed!!!
                waddleonbeth


                  what about walking or running in water- like a pool??
                  Jill


                    Hi evryone, Thanks for all your advice. I've not done impact exercise on my leg for about a month now and it feels loads better! Think I'll try some light training in a week or so, once the pain has gone completely. Thanks again!