WOMAN, RUNNING AND STRESS FRACTURES.

I’ve been having too many females coming to me asking what they can do for their shin splints that I have to write about this.  I wish I could gather all the women up in the Boston area and somehow communicate to them that distance running is a better way to get hurt than it is to lose weight.  I deal with a lot of college age males and females.  Let me put it to you this way; if I had $5.00 for every college age female that has induced a stress fracture I would only need a handful more to cover a year’s tuition over at Harvard.  Yeah, I get alot.  The males aren’t much better, but the women are definitely the larger population with this injury. 

    

     The more common fracture is of the tibia.  The larger of the two lower leg bones.  This bone bares body weight when running or walking.  If someone runs 6 miles on Monday, the very last thing they should do is run 6 miles the very next day.  Unless you are an elite level runner your body cannot handle the constant pounding day in and day out.  I have spoken with woman who run 60 minutes 7 days per weekfor weeks on end.  Top it off with not consuming enough claories for muscles to recovery and you have a sure fire recipe for a stress fracture.  Muscles need to recover and get stronger in order for tendons, ligaments and bones to do so.  If muscle tissue hasn’t been given the right amount of recovery the rest of your connective tissue and bones are in a vulnerable state. 

     

     Hip stress fractures are less likely to happen, but very painful.  Most hip stress fractures occur at the femoral neck of the femur.  The long bone in the upper thigh.  the femoral neck is located at the top of the femur.  This is the part that inserts into the acetabulum.  The acetabulum is the circular socket on the pelvis where the femur connects. 

     Two years ago I had a female runner who was training for the marathon approach me with hip pain.  I am not someone who can diagnose injuries and I do not try to act as such.  But if I can help someone narrow down the possible causes of their pain I will do that.  This woman mentioned a pain in her hip and was told by a physical therapist that it was a tight hip flexor and that she wasn’t stretching correctly.  The woman said it had been bothering her for approximately a month’s time.  Which didn’t sound right to me.  I referred her to an orhtopedist and din’t hear back from her.  I saw her less than a week after the marathon; she had decided to run the marathon without seeing the doctor first and ended up with a sever stress fracture of her hip.  She was on crutches when I saw her.  

     Most hip stress fractures are fatigue related stress fractures.  Fatigue fractures are caused by strenuous, very repetitive forces like running, excessive jumping.  Women in the military will suffer from hip stress fractures due to all the marching and distance running involved in basic training. 

     Moral of the story:  Contact me ( a personal trainer in the Boston area ) if you do not know how to design a strength training program to promote a faster metabolism and a leaner body.  Strength based programs produce better results than aerobic based programs for fat loss.  Injuries happen from repetitive motion.  Tennis elbow, tendinitis all happen from doing something over and over again.  Running is no different. 

     Body fat reduces as a result of increasing lean muscle mass; which in turn burns more body fat at rest and during exercise AND all day and night when you are sleeping.  Distance running or walking will not do this. 

     In conclusion, if the goal is fat loss make sure you have 2-3 strength training workouts in your weekly schedule.  This means with free weights.  Not rubber bands or anything else.  Free weights and body weight exercises.  Supplement your strength training with aerobic training.  Increasing lean mass will aid in burning more calories during aerobic training.

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1 comment so far. Leave a comment.

  1. Brendan O

    wrote on July 21, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Hey, I find light tibialis work involving flexion of the foot using a cable wrapped around the top of the foot works well, in preventing shin splints. I imagine it wouldn’t hurt for avoiding stress fractures as well. I usually give it to most runners or those complaining of shin pain.

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