Stress Fracture of the Tibia.

Although stress fractures of the tibia are a pretty rare occurence in the running population, we’ve seen two in our sports injury clinic in the last month. The causative factors in both cases were similar and caused by a combination of tight calves and insufficient recovery periods between runs. Rather than an in depth look at the causative factors and treatment of shin splints this is short post on the questions asked by our two clients in the last few days
1) Can I run with a stress fracture

No, No. No. Absolutely not, if it still hurts stop running. There is no option b.
2) How do I know if I have a stress fracture?

Clients often have pain on walking which intensifies and worsens on running with a local area of tenderness on the front of the shin. Clinically it can be diagnosed with the help of a thorough subjective history and with pain on direct or indirect percusion over the area. Although the first line of investigation is often the x-ray, it tends to be picked up earlier with both an MRI scan or a bone scan and sometimes a combination of two scans will be used to confirm the diagnosis.

3) What causes the stress fracture? -

Stress fractures can can occur in elite runners as easily in novice weekend plodders. They are thought to be the long term consequence of overloading the tissues on the anterior shin. As mentioned in a previous post  one of the the long term effects of training is bone thickening or the osteoblastic formation of new bone. Before this happens however in the short term the tissues fatigue leading to osteoclastic re absorption of bone resulting in a weaker bone. A stress fracture occurs when the weakening phase outstrips the strengthening phase and is the long term result of overloading your tissues when you run. This can be due to direct pressure on the tibia (shin) or indirect pressure through the tissues that attach onto the shin bone. A number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors are thought to contribute to the over load injury including things as varied as  duration, frequency and intensity of exercise, shoe wear,decreased flexibility, changes in muscle strength leg length discrepancies, age and sex.

4) What do I do? Rest the injured area and address any mechanical issues with a health care professional such a Physiotherapist. Assessment and prevention of recurrence may include a gait analysis, biomechaical analysis as well as a re-think of how you train. In consultation with your Physiotherapist or coach try to maintain cardio vascular fitness without directly loading your tibia or surrounding muscles.

Jemma Oliver Sports Physiotherapist

We are delighted that Jemma Oliver Sports Physiotherapist will shortly be joining our team at JUMP Physio. Having trained in Sports Science in Leeds and graduating as a Physiotherapist from Sheffield in 2007, Jemma has spent the last few years working privately in the sports rehabilitation and sports injury settings. She enjoys all aspects of musculoskeletal Physiotherapy however her specialist interest is in sports injuries and lower limb biomechanics. Jemma is near completion of an MSc in Sport Injury Management.

Jemma’s work in sport makes an impressive CV  to date and includes working with various squads and sports including the Sheffield United Football Academy, Sheffield Hockey Club, the U21 Wales Hockey Squad and more recently work with the GB Bobsleigh and the GB Womens Volleyball team in their run up to the 2012 Olympics.

Jemma describes herself as a friendly and passionate individual with an aim to try and help empower individuals to become more self aware of their own bodies and lifestyle in order to rehabilitate from injury, improve their sport performance or increase their own quality of life through healthy living and exercise.

A full list of the services Jemma will be offering at JUMP Physio will be available shortly on our web site www.jumpphysio.com . In the meantime if you have any questions about sports injuries or rehabilitation you can ask Jemma at info@jumpphysio.com

The Running Clinic

 

Last night JUMP Physio in association  with Pro Balance Personal Training Gym held the first running clinic at the pro Balance Gym on Jacksons Row.  The idea of the running clinic is to identify potential problems in runners by doing a short video analysis on the treadmill followed by some muscle length tests on the plinth. Although by no means a fully in-depth analysis  (last night we averaged about 15 minutes with each runner) everyone I think got some valuable advice on areas to work on over the next few weeks and hopefully some tips to take away to prevent further running injuries

There were no surprises on the night with the most common weaknesses in the running population all making an appearance. These included weak gluteus medius muscles, tight Iliotibial Bands (ITB), tight gastrocnemius muscles and poor lumbo pelvic control. Although nobody turned up last night complaining of pain or injury we still found quite a few asymmetries in running gait and some large muscle imbalances.  Thanks to Andy Jeffries on the night for explaining and demonstrating the corrective exercises with the runners.   

I’ll send out a pdf with those exercises  Andy Jeffries went through last night during the week to everyone who attended. We hope to run a similar clinic again over the next few weeks.