As a runner it can be difficult to admit when we need to take a break. If you follow me on Strava or Garmin Connect, you may have noticed I haven’t been running much lately. I hurt my foot waterskiing on August 12th and it is still bothering me almost 2 months later!
Immediately after my waterskiing accident, I could barely walk . Rather than simply taking several weeks off, I continued to run for about 2 weeks – big mistake.
Eventually, I realized it was something serious and went to an Orthopedist to get an X-ray. You can see the X-ray – nothing looked broken. When I asked the doctor if he’d be able to see a stress fracture or bone bruise, he said, “of course”. A quick search on google, however, told me otherwise. X-rays are basically useless for diagnosing small bone injuries such as stress fractures or bone bruises. Diagnosing these requires more advanced imaging techniques.
I was able to pinpoint the pain to a marble sized spot on my fourth metatarsal. The treatment for a stress fracture or bone bruise is simply to immobilize the area and eliminate excessive force on the bone for 4-6 weeks. Rather than wasting more money on an expensive bone scan or MRI, I’ve simply chosen the treatment for a stress fracture and ordered a post-op shoe – on Amazon for around $15.
I ordered the dreaded post-op shoe on Amazon and wore it for 3 weeks. Hey, I thought, everything feels better, maybe I should go for a run! I put on my new TOPO RUNDURO shoes and ran 2 miles. It felt great! The next day I decided to run 5 miles, probably more than I should’ve. Things fell apart on the 3rd day when I decided to slip on my Vibram Bikila’s and go for a 1 mile time trial. Big mistake. After that, my foot felt like it was back to square one.
When it comes to nutrition, I follow the Perfect Health Diet, which prescribes a whole foods diet based on paleo type foods. But, I want to make sure I am doing everything possible to provide my body with essential bone building materials. The author of the Perfect Health Diet, Paul Jaminet, advocates supplementing with the following four nutrients for bone health – vitamins C, D, and K2, and magnesium.
In addition, the diet calls for regularly supplementing with bone broth 3 days a week. Bone broth contains an abundance of nutrients not commonly found in modern diets. As you cook the bones, phosphorous, collagen and other nutrients leach out and get incorporated into the stock.
Since I find making bone broth a tedious task, I’ve been supplementing with collagen from YouTheory and grass fed hydrolyzed collagen from Great Lakes. For K2 and D I’ve been using a dropper by Thorne Research. K2 is essential for bone health and I’ve found that using a dropper makes it easy to take, 10 drops contain 5,000 IU vitamin D3 and 1 mg vitamin K2. As far as calcium, I continue to eat foods like grass fed yogurt, kefir, and even whole milk.
It can be difficult to convince yourself to stop running. I rationalized going out for a run, thinking that 3 weeks would have been enough time to heal and then tested my fitness with a time trial. If you’re dealing with a bone injury, don’t be like me! Let your body heal, then gradually get back into running with some light jogging or walking.