Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Overcoming Injuries

It's been so long since I posted anything, a lot has happened.
On Dec 13 I suffered a stress fracture in the second metatartsal of my right foot. I was enjoying my running so much for a month or so in my new Vibrams five finger shoes.
Vibrams are like running barefoot. It is the newest craze in running but actually it has been around forever. Barefoot running is the natural way to run. But if you are used to lots of cushioning and stability in your running shoes, you might find them uncomfortable. I tried them out when I was in Kona last year and loved them immediately. Since I've never been a great runner, I discovered that I was running better, differently and faster in my new Vibrams. Running was fun again and I was looking forward to every running workout. I was running longer before I felt the need to walk and I was running faster. In short I was having a blast.

But on Dec 13 I felt a sharp pain while running and stopped to walk a bit. After a couple minutes I decided it wasn't so bad so started to run again. Almost immediately I 'heard' it crack. I might still be trying to get home if a nice couple hadn't come along and offered me a ride home (neighbors). I had an X-ray the next morning but a stress fracrture will not show up on an X-ray. A day later I saw my sports medicine Orthopaedic specialtist. No running for 4 weeks and I was to wear the hard soled shoe they gave me to keep my foot from flexing.
Christmas came and went in that time and I was still able to bike and swim. But since Christmas takes almost the entire month of December I didn't really get in much training.
We went to VA to visit our daughter for Christmas and it was so cold I didn't go outdoors the whole time we were there. But I did do 2-3 w/o's on the bike trainer.
Home for the New Year and company for New Years Day dinner. By the end of the day, my right leg was hurting so bad I could barely walk. It got so bad in a couple days that I drug out some old crutches I had from an old injury.
Stan was taking really good care of me but on Jan 5 th , he was out for a training ride on his bike and had an accident. I got a call from a man ,several blocks away, that I had never heard of, who told me my husband had been in an accident and an ambulance was taking him to the hospital
Stan told this man who lived on the street where he had crashed that I couldn't drive, due to my own injury. So this very kind man ( an X- Marine) came to my house and took me to the hospital to see Stan. I had to wait for X-ray's on Stan's leg. He couldn't move it. Of course it was broken(displaced) and we had to contact our Orthopedic surgeon. Stan had to be moved again to another hospital. There I was stuck at the hospital with no transportation home. My transportation neighbor had left me at the hospital but told me that when I needed to leave, he would come get me and take me home. I'm still amazed of the genorosity of strangers.

As it turned out I was able to drive, just could not walk without my crutches and I was in horrible pain. Stan had surgery on Jan 6th and had a 14 in. rod inserted in his femur. He survived the surgery in great shape and was transferred to a rehab hospital a day and a half later. Stan's recovery has been remarkable.
He is now riding an hour or more on his trainer, able to swim 1500 m in a pool and walk 40 min with a cane (that's a step up from the walker) He hates both.

My condition however, was still in a terrible shape while Stan was in the hospital. I finally got referred to a PT who was able to get rid of my pain in about three visits. I had Kinesio taping, Dry Needling, Massage and heat.
Diagnosis was Lateral hip syndrone due to limping around for 3 weeks on a post-op shoe. I was using a lot of secondary muscles and developed a lot of knots etc. It was the worst pain I ever had in my life. Pain was from my right lateral hip, all down my leg to the ankle and included my foot.
I have now fully recovered from the stress fracture and the Lateral hip problem and I am back to full triathlon training. I've lost a lot of conditioning but it's coming back fast.

I am going to try to get back to running in the Vibrams but I will transition to them more slowly than in the past. I am convinced they are the best way for me to run. I will not run in them every day and be more careful to not get an overuse injury again. My stress fracture is labeled an overuse injury. In this case it was running too far too soon in barefoot shoes. I'll alternate with shoes with a little more cushoning but will definately use them to race and in training to get the feel of correct form.