Stress Fracture Rehab – A Bone Stimulator + Cross Training

Our music choices for spin class make it impossible not to smile!  It’s been three weeks since the bone scan where I found out that I had a stress fracture in my tibia. Thankfully we caught the fracture early enough that I wasn’t put in a boot. I’ve been able to walk around pain-free from the very start and I’ve been spending these last few weeks doing some cross training and strength training to keep my body strong and (more importantly) to keep my sanity.

To not be running each morning (especially on these perfect fall weather days) feels so alien to me. I miss my morning routine of getting up and greeting the sunrise while out on the roads, then having a few moments to myself post-run to stretch and make my post-run smoothie before my little ones wake up to start the craziness of the day.   But since I haven’t been able to run, I’ve had to find other ways to keep sane while not putting too much pressure on my leg. Here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks:

Monday – I’ll hop on the elliptical for 30-40 minutes and then take my core work class. My parents live in town, so I've talked them into meeting me at the gym for the core class.  It’s been so fun to have them in class with me!

Tuesday – Body Pump and spin class. Since I haven’t been taxing my leg muscles with running, I’ve been going heavier with my weights in Body Pump for the squat and lunge tracks. It’s not running, but at least my legs feel sufficiently fatigued afterwards!   Later in the afternoon my parents meet me at the gym where we take turns “teaching” our own spin class! Since the room at the gym isn’t in use, they let us use it for our workout. It’s a blast and we have a good time trying to one-up each other with our crazy music choices!

Wednesday – Core class and either walking on the treadmill or elliptical

Thursday – Body Pump

Friday – Spin class

Saturday – Spin class and walking

Sunday – Body Pump

I’ve also been making sure I’m getting calcium and vitamin D each day – through both my diet and a supplement – and prioritizing good sleep and nutrition in an effort to give my body everything it needs to heal my leg.

My bone stimulator.  (Don't mind the bright pink compression sock)

After doing some research and reading this great post, I opted to purchase a bone stimulator off of Ebay. I’ve been using that on my leg twice a day for the last few weeks and I’m hoping that it’s giving my bone a little boost to heal more quickly.   It’s a painless treatment of 20 minutes at a time, and according to research can heal the bone 33% faster. For an injury like mine with a healing time measured in weeks, that can cut a significant amount of time off!

I head back to the sports doc next Friday (10/17) and hopefully my follow up will show that the bone is healing nicely. For now, I’ve been cleared to start adding in a tiny bit of walk/running (intervals of 3 min running, 1 min walking for 30 minutes). I got to do my first “run” back on Saturday and the 30 minutes flew by! I was so happy to be running again. I’m being extra cautious and won’t try a consecutive run until a week or two from now. Even though I know I have a long way to go to build up my mileage to anywhere near where it was, it’s a step in the right direction.   Here’s hoping the comeback will continue to proceed smoothly!