What is the number one question for a runner with a second stress fracture? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
Stress fractures are the most common overtraining injury that I treat in runners. And if you’re a runner and you get a stress fracture, your question is probably “What can I do to heal this as quickly as possible.” But if you heal it, get back to running and then get another stress fracture, a recurrent stress fracture, your number one question should be “why”.
Why did I get another stress fracture? Do I have a vitamin D deficiency? Did I make some preventable training errors? Did I start running without systematic rehab and strengthening first? Do I have some underlying metabolic disorder that puts me at risk? Why? Why did you get another stress fracture? If your doctor didn’t ask why you thought you got a stress fracture, you need a second opinion. You really got to start trying to figure out why.
The thing is that I think that metabolic disorders and vitamin D deficiencies, although they can be common, I don’t think that’s really the common cause of these injuries in athletes. What I think is that most of us who get a stress fracture, we sit still way too long, we get way too weak. We get way too stiff. And then when we start running, we actually wind up accentuating our risk for getting another injury later because we didn’t sufficiently maintain our running fitness during that first injury.
If you did that, it’s too late. You missed the boat at that time, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make up ground now. But you have to try and work on getting stronger, getting more flexible and decreasing your risk of getting another overtraining injury later. Because if you look at this largest study of running injuries of lower extremity, there are three things that put you at risk of stress fractures. The first is high mileage, no surprise, you run a whole lot. You’re at risk.
Number two is being male because men are dumber than women, we do dumber things. And number three is having a previous history of injury. And so again, I don’t think people are just injury prone. I think that the treatments that we as physicians are taught to use on runners keep us weak, keep us stiff and increase the risk of getting another overtraining injury later, but if you got a stress fracture, you need to be thinking about why so that doesn’t happen to you.
If you liked this training, please like it, please subscribe, and if you haven’t checked it out, come check out the stress fracture masterclass. You can get it for free at www.docontherun.com/stressfracturemasterclass. I’ll see you in the training.