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Thursday, May 07, 2009

I am unable to run because of a frustrating tibial stress fracture

Hi Gary
I am 52 years old, somewhat overweight and have been ‘back’ running (from a lengthy layoff ex ironman triathlete) for about 1 year.

I have been plagued with lower leg injuries and ‘ran through’ the pain barrier only to end up with a right lower leg tibia stress fracture. It is not on the front, slightly off to the inside, just off the front. The frustrating thing is it is now 3 months old, I have ceased all physical activity except for normal day to day living. It is still uncomfortable, some days are fine, some are not.

I have read your article on healing stress fractures but that appears to target somewhat underweight women runners. I am slowly increasing in weight which is frustrating and I really want to get back on the road. My sports doctor is not really offering any real advice other than keep off it and come back in a month! 

I have been taking Glucosamine and chondroitin, fish oil, 1000mg calcium, 500mg magnesium daily for the past 6 weeks. I am starting to think my running days are over which if so would be depressing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Gary replies:
Bruce, you can try this:
  • Get a pair of Formthotics Shock Stop inner soles and wear in all your shoes
  • Take a small amount of whey protein several times a day.  This could include a couple of berry smoothies (recipe here).
  • Take supplementary Vitamin D on all days that you do not sunbathe.  Your current intake, if combined with a low cholesterol diet, is insignificant and this can contribute to weak tissues.  Dosage guidelines here.
  • Take one Conezyme Q-10 capsule 3 x per day for 10 days then once a day.  You are sure to be low in this, given your age and past extreme activity.
  • You may continue to take the glucosamine if you like.  It is beneficial for all runners to offset wear and tear.
  • Walk so long as you do not aggravate the injury; but don't run until the shin is pain free and then only every 2nd day, stay within comfort levels and gradually build distacne and intensity over several weeks.  Aquajogging, rowing, paddling, swimming and cycling should all be fine to do right away.
If you are on a nutrient rich diet, including bone broths, as outlined in many of the articles on this website, then taking the other nutrients that you listed is not really necessary.

That's all.

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