Hurt again... At my wits end

Ever since I first tried vffs in feb '10, I've been hurt on and off, mostly on. I've gone back to sneakers, then to vffs again, I've tried transition shoes, you name it. I even did a private lesson with a POSE instructor. I just keep getting hurt. Stress fractures, tendonitis, plantar fasciatis, feet, shins, hips. Everything you can think of, pretty much.

I'm at my wits end. All I want is to run. I'll run barefoot, I'll run in marshmallow shoes, I don't care. I just want to stop getting injured. Anyone been in this situation? Figure out anything that worked??

Comments

  • I had constant injuries a couple of years ago when I was using regular (marshmallow) running shoes.  What finally made the difference for me was going to a really good physical therapist that discovered I had a problem with my SI joint in my hip. The reason I mention this is that you may have some sort of imbalance problem that hasn't been diagnosed yet.  Don't give up, keep trying to find the answer.  You might want to check out the list of barefoot friendly docs/providers here:

    http://www.thebarefootrunners.org/threads/barefoot-friendly-doctors-specialists-map.5791/

  • Thanks, appreciate the support. I checked that map, and there's a podiatrist about an hour from me. Might be worth checking out. There have been so many different issues that I don't really know what it could be, but it must be systemic - too many issues to be random.
  • You may also have your HGH and testosterone levels tested. I used to suffer from prolonged soreness and could only run once every 3rd day. Come to find out my HGH levels were low so my body was slow to repair tissue worn down by exercise. There was no way I could afford HGH replacement therapy, so I started to take 500mg of Phenibut twice a week. Now I'm not sore even after my long runs. Phenibut may not be for you, but I wanted you to at least be aware of it. You can read a little more about in the link below.

    phenibut.jpg

    http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=158305#ixzz1q4kl5fNF
  • Thanks much. That's a good thought. I have had testosterone and vit D (because of the stress fractures) tested and they are all good. But the hgh is interesting... I not only keep getting hurt but am waaaay too slow to heal compared to what the estimated healing times are.
  • on 1336093176:

    Thanks, appreciate the support. I checked that map, and there's a podiatrist about an hour from me.


    I would agree with PB Junkie and go with a PT.  A podiatrist is just going to look at your feet, while a PT is going to take everything into consideration.  An imbalance anywhere in your body could be throwing something off and manifesting in an entirely different location.  From what I know about podiatrists, they'll probably just tell you to use insoles, which is NOT going to correct imbalances elsewhere.
  • on 1336102391:

    Thanks much. That's a good thought. I have had testosterone and vit D (because of the stress fractures) tested ...

    Was that D1 or D2 or both? I seem to remember there being a slight difference in their effects in the body.
  • on 1336128082:

    on 1336102391:

    Thanks much. That's a good thought. I have had testosterone and vit D (because of the stress fractures) tested ...

    Was that D1 or D2 or both? I seem to remember there being a slight difference in their effects in the body.


    D2, D3, and total.

    on 1336105919:

    on 1336093176:

    Thanks, appreciate the support. I checked that map, and there's a podiatrist about an hour from me.


    I would agree with PB Junkie and go with a PT.  A podiatrist is just going to look at your feet, while a PT is going to take everything into consideration.  An imbalance anywhere in your body could be throwing something off and manifesting in an entirely different location.  From what I know about podiatrists, they'll probably just tell you to use insoles, which is NOT going to correct imbalances elsewhere.


    Well the podiatrist is "barefoot friendly" so maybe no inserts. But I know what you mean about looking for imbalances everywhere. But, I don't know how to find a good PT.
  • on 1336102391:

    Thanks much. That's a good thought. I have had testosterone and vit D (because of the stress fractures) tested and they are all good. But the hgh is interesting... I not only keep getting hurt but am waaaay too slow to heal compared to what the estimated healing times are.


    While my previous injuries (other than the hiking accident back in 2010) are not as bad as yours, Phenibut has made a real difference for me. It works as a HGH secretagogue. I tried it not expecting much because of my previous experience with other supplements. I took two 250mg pills (500mg total) at bed time the day before my long run. I did my long run the next day and took another two pills that night. The next day when I woke up, I gingerly put my feet on the floor expecting the same soreness. I felt nothing! I felt like I had not ran the day before. I was pretty surprised at this. I've been using it since last November. The stuff is very affordable. You can pick up a 90 pill bottle (250mg per pill) for around $16 on Ebay.

    I normally take it on Monday and Thursday nights before bed. If you take it for 1 day, then don't take it again for 2 days. If you take it for 2 days, then don't take it again for 3 days. Never take it 3 days in a row. If you take it more often, it loses its effectiveness. According to what I've researched, the maximum dosage is 40mg per kg of body weight. I don't take anything near that much, I dose at about 8mg per kg of body weight. At this dosage level I get all the benefits I'm looking for. I never take more than what I need of anything.

    From what I've researched, Phenibut elevates your HGH production while you sleep at night. It works with the body's natural HGH cycling at night. It doesn't prolong the brains natural HGH production time, it just increases the amount. I'm obviously not a doctor, but I'm theorizing that the correction in my HGH levels is promoting better healing during my rest periods. I've also noticed my calves have become even more defined than what they were. This is about what I would have expected with a corrected HGH level. I haven't noticed faster healing from cuts, scrapes and bruises, but I don't get TOFP or prolonged soreness anymore. Like I wrote before, this stuff may not be for everyone. However, I just wanted to get the information out here if it will help you. I know how bad it feels not being able to run. That crap I went through back in 2010 really tested me. I don't want to go back there again. Hang in there, the answers and help will come.
  • on 1336142480:

    Well the podiatrist is "barefoot friendly" so maybe no inserts. But I know what you mean about looking for imbalances everywhere. But, I don't know how to find a good PT.


    Well, depending on your health insurance/financial situation, I would say try one and if you don't like them move on. :)  One thing I think is key is getting exercises to do at home, which my PT is big on.  I've talked to other people whose PTs do a lot more hands on stuff during the appointment, which is great, but is not going to really change things if certain muscles are weak.  There's always Yelp or Angie's List if you like that type of thing, though I prefer just getting recommendations from people I know or trying things out myself.  Good luck with your search!
  • that's all.  I'm back to the podiatrist on Wednesday to see about getting this boot off my foot.  After that, provided all goes well, it'll be time to think about how best to get back to running without hurting myself again.  Lots of options, but I've tried so many things that haven't worked... gonna have to find something that does.
  • Qcassidy,

        How are things going for you? Hope all is going well for you.

    Rgs, Jeepman
  • Hey, thanks for checking in! (and last post was supposed to be "thanks all" not "that's all"... Damn iPhone :-p)

    Tomorrow will be the first day I'm allowed to run, per my podiatrist. I'm not sure the stress fracture is 100% gone, because I still feel a little bit of something when I press on the bone. But, it's damn close, and all I'm going to be running at this point is one quarter mile at a time. So I might just try it and see how I feel.

    I'll be running in cushioned shoes to start. That's not my preference, but at this point I just want to prove that I can run healthily in something. If that works, with no more injuries, I'll see what I can do about getting back down to something more minimal. However, after all of this, I do have my doubts that I'm really cut out for Piora barefoot running. It could just be that I've never gotten my form right, but I do suspect that maybe my body is just not meant to run barefoot on pavement. Which would be okay - I think there's still plenty of good light weight, minimal shoes that I could use to run happily, and most importantly, healthily.

    Thanks once again for your advice and concern. I'll be sure to check in and let you all know how the comeback is going.  :-)
  • Maybe what I went through with my broken foot might provide a little bit of guidance.

    My return to running progress starts on page 7 of this thread:

    https://forum.birthdayshoes.com/barefoot-activities/hey-look-it-matches-my-red-bikilas!/

    I had to wear my old heavily padded Asics GT-2130 running shoes at the beginning. I could only trot for about 75 feet before my foot would start hurting. I slowly increased that week by week. I also used the walk/jog method. I would walk 1/8 mile and then jog 1/8 mile. I would repeat this every time I went out and add another 1/8 mile of each once a week. Once I was over a mile I changed it up to 1/4 mile segments. I worked this type of plan until I was able to jog the whole mile. After that it was a normal build up to 5K and then onto 10K and beyond. Total recovery to get back where I was before the accident was about 18 months. Have patience my friend - it will come.

    Rgs, Jeepman

    PS: Do what is right for you, don't ever feel pressured to wear something your body can't handle or is not ready for.
  • Thanks again, sage advice as always. At what point in your progression did you ditch the 2130s? (used to be my shoe of choice for many years!) or maybe I should just read the thread. ;-)

    One question - you said your foot still hurt on those early runs. I thought that if you were coming back from a fracture (or stress fracture), you were not supposed to build back up while there was still pain. I know you can do that with muscles or tendons, but I thought continued pain from training after a fracture meant stop until there's no more pain. No?

    I am supposed to follow a somewhat similar progression. 1/4 mile every other day week 1.  Increase each run by 1/4, still every other day, each following week. So 1 mile per run in week 4, 1.5 in week 6, etc.

    Once I hit two miles (week 8), I can start increasing by one mile per run, still every other day. By week 11, that's 5 miles every other day. If I get to that point pain free, I can start to be a little more flexible in terms of run length and frequency, always being smart about it, of course.
  • I stayed in the 2130's for about 3 weeks. I then switched into Flows because it was winter time. I did the walk/run method for over two months. I landed very flat footed to spread the load across the most area. I then slowly worked into a mid/fore foot landing as I could tolerate it. I took it very easy and analyzed every little twitch my foot gave me. While I still had foot pain, it was the long lingering pain from the breaks, not fresh injuries from over doing it. It took me a while to learn the difference between being sore, and actually being hurt. It takes experience to learn this. I have no doubt you will develop the same self diagnosis skills. It still gives me some pain today, but it is only nagging pain. It doesn't hurt at all while running. It just doesn't like the cold, or being cold. The thing that happened with me is I had to dial back my planned schedule about 3 or 4 times. Its great to set goals to stay motivated, but you also must be smart. It is always faster to do it right the first time than doing it twice. Good luck with your recovery and hit me up if you think I can help you with anything.

    Rgs, Jeepman
  • Update: so far so good. On week two of running, which means 1/2 mile every other day. Not much, but it's a start. In cushioned sneakers so far, and no pain. The bone feels pretty much 100%, even when I push on it with some force.

    Only thing is, I don't like the cushioned shoes. They are heavy and have too much heel. I accept that I need some cushioning - for now at least, and maybe forever. That's ok. But I'd like a shoe that allows for a more natural feel even while having some cushioning. Considering the merrell bare access or altra instinct, but I don't know if those are enough for me. #1 goal has to be no more stress fractures! So maybe something like the kinvara, even though that's pretty thick.

    Not sure yet, but suggestions welcome. Just happy to be pain free and running (even a very little bit!).
  • on 1338844592:

    Only thing is, I don't like the cushioned shoes. They are heavy and have too much heel. I accept that I need some cushioning - for now at least, and maybe forever. That's ok. But I'd like a shoe that allows for a more natural feel even while having some cushioning. Considering the merrell bare access or altra instinct, but I don't know if those are enough for me. #1 goal has to be no more stress fractures! So maybe something like the kinvara, even though that's pretty thick.


    qcassidy, glad you're back in action!

    I've been using the Altra Instinct for really long runs (13 - 15 miles) and on days when my feet need to recover.  It's got way too much cushioning for me.  My feet get all confused because I really can't feel the ground.  However, the zero drop of the Altra Instinct is, for me, a blessing in disguise because when I do run in them I can maintain that forefoot landing and just a slight touch of the heel.  It doesn't make my form regress back to when I was using regular running shoes.  The wide toebox is also a nice touch, especially if you have mutant wide feet like mine.
  • Glad you're able to get out again qcassidy.  Here are a some more options you might consider:

    Saucony Hattori LS - available sometime this month, has zero drop and 15mm stack height (approx 5 ounces per shoe)(the non-laced version is 4.4 ounces per shoe):

    http://www.runningwarehouse.com/descpageMRS-SHTLCM1.html

    Or if you want a little less stack height, the road glove has a 11 mm stack height (6.9 ounces per shoe):

    http://www.runningwarehouse.com/descpageMRS-MRGLM1.html

    For reference sake, the Altra Instinct has a 16mm stack height (9 ounces per shoe):

    http://www.runningwarehouse.com/descpageMRS-ALTINBK.html
  • Thanks guys. :) good to be starting again.

    As far as the shoes go, my problem is that I don't know how much cushioning is enough. And yes I know many on this site would say the answer should be "zero," but I'm accepting, rightly or wrongly and at least for now, that I could use some cushioning. I think maybe the altras. 20mm with the support insole, and less with the strengthen or no insole. So I could adjust by the day or as my feet got stronger. But I just don't know - is that enough? Could I get away with something like the hattori? Or maybe I'd do better with even more, like the kinvara. I know it's not a minimal shoe, but the 4mm drop would be a lot better than what I'm using now, and it does have good cushioning.  I have a pair of road gloves and love them, but I think I need more than that. 10mm is a lot compared to a vff classic, but it's not really a cushioned shoe. There's just really no right answer I guess... Only trial and error. Unfortunately, I seem to have more error and less trial when it comes to this, so I don't want to get hurt again.
  • Good to hear you are back running again!

    I'm with you about cushioning though. I'm of the opinion that if you can find something that helps with running, then it's the right call. Hopefully you can find that balance between cushioning, minimal-zero drop and comfortable. Hopefully you are back running longer distances soon!
  • Thanks yeti! I hope so too.
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