Awareness of stress fractures and their season-ending effects has become very prevalent in the running community. Runners are getting a sense of what to look for if they are worried about a possible stress fracture. This is helpful to a degree, but recently we've been seeing an increase in less-common stress fracture types. One in particular, fibular stress fractures (the other lower leg bone next to the tibia), has been showing up in at Custom Performance more frequently.
This is the time in our training cycles that little niggles and weird pains start cropping up. Maybe shin splints are setting in, or your left hamstring is deeeefinitely feeling different than your right.
When a new client comes in with a knee pain, eight out of ten times I’ll start my exam at the hip. Seven out of those eight times, my client looks at me like I’m crazy. I think it’s time I reveal the method to my madness.
“My highest mileage week is 90 miles! I start with a 30, then, like three 45, then 50, then 60…” Who do you picture when I say this? A collegiate cross-country runner? A pro?
We all have heard the recommendation to change shoes around 300-500 miles of use, but why? Where does this recommendation come from? When running, forces more than 2.5 times your body weight are applied up the leg and through the musculoskeletal system. Footwear has been designed to assist in absorbing these highmagnitude forces in order to improve performance and reduce injury risk. The cushioning in shoes can absorb shock and reduce how fast the force of landing acts on the body.
Hip injuries and pain are relatively common in runners; high hamstring strains, hip flexor strains, labral tears, piriformis syndrome, FAI... the list goes on. Most hip injuries are musculoskeletal (either bone/joint, ligament, or muscle), which can cause us to unintentionally neglect a particular group of hip injuries: nerve entrapments.
Are you having trouble recovering from an ankle sprain? Jennings and Davies (2005) produced a report that shows that one little bone in the foot might be responsible for your lasting issues. The cuboid bone sits between your heel bone and the beginning of your 5th toe on the outside of your foot.
Stress fractures are, unfortunately, a relatively common running injury. These injuries are the result of an unbalanced scale of activity at your bone; essentially stress (training) is occurring too fast for the body to rebuild the bone at an adequate rate. There are a number of factors that can contribute to a stress fracture: anatomy, training error, recovery errors, running mechanics, poor nutrition... the list goes on.