Two words a runner NEVER wants to hear.
It immediately conjures up images of ugly walking boots, scrapped race plans for months and months, and weeks on end of going back and forth between different doctor appointments, trying to get a straight answer about when you can finally get back to running.
I hear you, running fit fam.
Stress fractures can be scary.
But there is a silver lining to all this.
Yup, or did you already forget?
Around here, we Dare to Train Differently.
Which means…knowledge is power.
The more you know about stress fractures
what they are
how they happen
what they feel like…
The less scary they are.
Because when you understand how your own amazing, marvelous body works, you begin to appreciate it more.
And listen to it. And then understand what it's trying to tell you. Yes, even when it comes to stress fractures (both preventing and recovering from them). So let's start building that foundation today in this blog, running fit fam. That way, your never caught unaware.
Let's dive in.
Where do long distance runners get stress fractures and/or bone stress injuries (BSIs)?
"50% occur in the tibial diaphysis (the long, middle part of your shin bone)
The majority of other bone stress injuries occurring in:
the femur (your upper leg bone)
Fibula (your outside shin bone)
Calcaneus (your heel bone)
Metatarsals (the toe bones in the wide part of your foot)
Tarsals (your actual little toe bones, the ones you can wiggle)
However, BSIs in the pelvis (hips) and lumbar spine (low back) also occur in runners and should not be overlooked"
But let's back this up…did you notice the words "bone stress injuries"?
That was on purpose.
There is a difference between stress fracture and bone stress injuries.
We don’t hear about the other one a whole lot…and we should. Because BSI's eventually lead into….you guessed it…stress fractures.
What is a stress fracture and what causes one?
Short answer: a process.
Here me out.
What is a bone stress injury (BSI)?
Like a stress fracture, a BSI is an overuse injury
" A BSI represents the inability of bone to withstand repetitive mechanical loading, which results in structural fatigue and localized bone pain and tenderness. Bone stress injuries occur along a pathology continuum beginning with stress reactions, which can progress to stress fractures and, ultimately, complete bone fractures"
Did you catch all that?
Bone injuries happen on a spectrum.
Stress fractures don't *typically* just appear one morning. They start as a bone stress injury, progressing to a stress fracture, potentially evolving into a full blown fracture.
Don't freak out and leave!
Stay with me!