Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stress Fractures

Good morning!

In the past month I have had friends and students get some kind of stress fracture. For most of these people it has not been from running but from some other sport that is just happened! So much information to read about how to prevent and help stress fractures but below is some I have put together from different sources and I feel it is something we all need to think about.

All women over the age of 35 should be taking calcium and vit D.

It is putting money in the bank (calcium in your bones) in preparation for the inevitable loss starting at 40 but accelerating at menopause.
Over the counter----1800 mg calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D daily Never increase your mileage too quickly especially if you are also on your feet all day. Bone is constantly remodeling (breaking down old bone and laying down new bone). If the the stress (wt bearing, repetitive use) exceeds recovery (sitting, lying, no pounding) you are likely to end up with a stress fracture. THe BODY is an incredible machine but ONLY IF WE TREAT IT WITH RESPECT AND KEEP IT FINELY TUNED. Error: Going from IM to ultra running training and INCREASED MY RUNNING MILEAGE (without biking) WAY TO QUICKLY!!! Most stress fractures of the foot are NOT due to osteoporosis (more due to OVER USE). WE SHOULD ALL KNOW BETTER. I GOT OFF TRACK ON THE PLANTAR FASCIITIS TANGENT FOR CLOSE TO A YEAR. DON'T ACCEPT THAT YOU HAVE TO LIVE IN PAIN AS YOU GET OLDER. WE CAN GET FITTER AND MORE BUFFED AS WE AGE. Yes, really! You just have to do it right, a little more R&R, and pay attention to warning signs.....

Thoughts about why and how one friend got a stress fracture:

I posed a whole list of questions to my doctor about the cause of this injury. He feels it's the result of the one 3-hour run I did, instead of a more long-term accumulation of damage. There are a handful of things that would contribute (according to him, my research, and my own ideas):

22lb. pack - I didn't find that listed anywhere but if force=mass x acceleration and mass goes from 135 to 157 it will have a big effect on the impact forces of feet on the road.(TRAINING FOR MDS)

Surface - In recent months I hadn't been putting in many miles on the road. I didn't see that as a priority, trying to get more time on an uneven surface instead, preferably sand with a pack. I walked for two hours on the beach with a friend the day before, with our packs, so I felt it would be good to RUN for 3 hours on that Sunday since I hadn't done one of those in a while. Time constraints that day meant I couldn't get to the trails and back in time so I hit the road instead. The crown of the road can also play a role.

Mileage - This goes along with the surface topic, but that was a higher mileage day compared with most, especially since the motion was utterly repetitive and all of my other recent (last 2-3 months) had more variation of the motion.

Pronation - Over the years I've used orthotics to help combat IT band problems but in the last year I've tried to get away from the orthotics and have been using Montrail heat molded insoles instead without any problems. This would have allowed more pronation than the orthotics.

Old/worn shoes - I was wearing a pair of road shoes that were nearly new, but a model that is pretty light without a huge amount of support. It's a model I've happily worn for a few road marathons but it may not have provided enough structure once the pack was added, especially without the orthotics.

Cold - Not mentioned in the literature but I feel it was a factor by causing my lower legs to remain tight. The day started out at 31* and was supposed to get colder in the evening but when I got back to my car a little after noon it was 21* and windy. I started out overdressed on my upper body, sort of "pre-heat training" but only thin tights on my legs and short socks.

Stride - Also not mentioned, but I was aiming to keep my heart rate at about 150 and trying to put in some time with a pace and stride that I'd likely be using in the desert - more of a jog than a run. The two motions are so different that jogging needs to be trained, just like walking needs to be trained. The problem is that mechanically jogging sucks - it's sloppy, weak, inefficient, and I believe damaging but I thought I would need to be able to do it if it got really hot - be able to just shuffle along at 10:00/mile. I feel it was a factor though I don't have any evidence to back that up.

There were reasons for choosing to do each of those things the way I did them, and I'm positive that any 3 of them wouldn't have been enough to cause a big problem. Unfortunately, I'm stuck with the conclusion that all of them together were enough to do a great deal of damage.

"Calcium, vitamin D cut stress fractures"-

Ok..so now you have some good information to think about! #1 Cross training in my philosophy is a must and never increase your mileage to fast. If you are training to run a race with a back pack start with 5 pounds and every 2 weeks increase the weight by 2 pounds until you hit the weight you feel you will carry during the event.

Thought to leave you with today:

*I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties.
*I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.
*I asked for prosperity and God gave me brain and brawn to work with.
*I asked for courage and God gave me danger to overcome.
*I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.
*I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities.

*I received nothing I wanted.
*I received everything I needed.

Have a great day!!!


1 comment:

Cathy said...

Interesting connection between PF and stress fractures. I've thought I've had PF AND a stress fracture for a long time. If the stress fracture ever heals maybe my "PF" will be gone too. : )