Knee Stress Fractures
Stress Fractures are a condition where training load has exceeded your body’s ability to maintain bone structure, resulting in partial to complete breakdown of the bone.
Beware of deep aches in the front of the thigh. This tends to be a type of ache where you can’t touch the specific spot that hurts. A firm quick squeeze of the thighbone in the region of the ache with both hands may reproduce the familiar pain and signify a stress fracture.
During the earlier stages of a stress fracture you may be able to run without pain after you are warmed up; however, pain is often increased after the run. As the condition progresses the pain intensifies and often leaves you with a limp . An X-ray can confirm the diagnosis but usually not until after three weeks of symptoms (although this varies).
Whole food provided in the form of milk products with high potein, calcum and vitamin D is the best known nutritional guidance to prevent stress fracture and may speed recovery. Vitamin D (800iu per day) and Calcium (2g per day) intake has been shown to reduce the incidence of stress fractures in military cadets by 27% and should aid in quicker healing.
- See Principles of Recovery.
- This condition requires more proper rest. Plan on at least 6 weeks of not running. Cycling, swimming or deep-water running are the best cross training options because of the decreased weight bearing. If you are limping when you walk, using crutches until the limp is gone will dramatically speed recovery.
- Vibration has been shown to accelerate bone healing. You can try using a vibrational massager by placing the massager on the bone a couple of inches away from the sore spot and holding it for 2-4 minutes twice per day.
Considerations: Nutritional or hormonal factors may affect this condition. Consult a sports physician if you feel this is a concern.