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Possible Stress Fracture in My Foot and Carpel Tunnel in my right hand?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 21, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Hey everyone. I know you're not (all) doctors, but I thought I'd shoot this out to the paleo community anyway.

My right wrist, outer part of my right forearm started hurting about 6 weeks ago. I went to the doctor, she had me put my hands together and turn them down to the floor, asked me a few questions--then prescribed me a brace to wear at night, recommendation to set my desk up "ergonomically", and ibuprofen for any pain. Then wrote me a "no push ups" profile and sent me on my way.

Then about three weeks ago I started having problems with my right foot (note: I run in vibrams and have been wearing them consistently for 5 months now). I thought it was just muscle tightness, so I stretched more and "pushed through it". After a run one day I could barely walk, so last week I finally went to the doctor about it. I was worried I might have a stress fracture (I work out 5x a week) and told her so. She said "yeah, that's probably it", sent me to have xrays done (said she would call if it was a fracture...but I didn't receive a call), prescribed me pain medication, and wrote me a "no running" profile.

Firstly, I'm annoyed the doctors only seem to prescribe medications and write me profiles, without doing any in depth testing. And secondly, I haven't gotten better! My wrist doesn't hurt as much, but I can't put any weight on it and I have to be careful when I pick things up. And my foot...it's been a week and a half since my doctor visit and it hurts to walk on my foot! I'm walking snail style everywhere I go because my foot/back of my heel hurts like crazy.

I'm really against taking pain medicines. And I am taking the rest I need (no running, no putting weight on my wrist), but I just have a feeling I need to do something more?

Someone suggested I was getting injured because I "cut important food groups out of my diet". I told them that my paleo diet should actually be helping against injury since it lower the body's inflammation response...still, I'm freaking out about my injuries...I've never been injured like this before, and it seems to be from overuse/repetitive motion (and someone suggested my foot is screwed up because of my vibrams...)

Anyway, any thoughts/comment/suggestions would greatly be appreciated. I hate that I'm injured and can't work out...and the doctors don't seem to be helpful!

Thanks

106ff12ab8ba6e000562bbf6b2ebf6da

(30)

on June 21, 2012
at 10:34 PM

Well there are stress fractures which is a fracture that was caused by placing stress or pressure onto the bone to cause it, those CAN be hairline or larger. A hairline fracture is called such because it's that tiny- and unable to be diagnosed by x-ray. Hairline fractures CAN, however be caused by stress. Sorry if my original verbage was confusing.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 21, 2012
at 10:30 PM

Hunh, my runner daughter had stress fractures that she said were diagnosed by x-ray. Maybe they were larger. Sounds like good advice. Thanks for the correction.

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7 Answers

2
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 21, 2012
at 10:04 PM

Get a new doctor. Shop around til you get one who will spend time with you like doctors used to.(They are out there, but will take some hunting) Follow up and find out what the x-ray said. Sometimes doctors/nurses/techs aren't so good on the followup.

Unfortunately, even if we were all experts, I'm going to say that possible stress fractures and carpel tunnel are impossible to diagnose over the internet. X-rays (possibly some other scan?) are pretty much what has to be done to find out what's what.

^And that folks, is why it's unwise to give medical opinions over the internet. Note to self: I'm a horticulturist, not a doctor.

1
106ff12ab8ba6e000562bbf6b2ebf6da

on June 21, 2012
at 10:21 PM

An x-ray will not show a small hairline fracture, that is probably why you never heard from her. If it was anything that could be seen on an x-ray it would have to be more significant than hairline. (Source: I'm an RN) It would show if there were any abnormalities in your bone structure that was causing your issue, however. Maybe call back and inquire about the results.

Your friends may be onto something with cutting out the food groups- since we as paleos do not eat dairy- we need to find other sources of calcium and vitamin D. Make sure you are eating plenty of greens to get those nutrients.

Now, regarding your foot: It's very common for runners to get something called plantar fasciitis. You can run a google search and find more information on this. Perhaps this is what you may have? If so, it's an easy fix- stretching the tendons and in extreme cases some cortisone injections. But, look that up and see if that might be it- then perhaps present it to your MD and see if she agrees.

On the other hand, if you aren't happy with the care you are getting in your MD office in general, I would say 1000% to go to another doctor that you feel more comfortable with.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 21, 2012
at 10:30 PM

Hunh, my runner daughter had stress fractures that she said were diagnosed by x-ray. Maybe they were larger. Sounds like good advice. Thanks for the correction.

106ff12ab8ba6e000562bbf6b2ebf6da

(30)

on June 21, 2012
at 10:34 PM

Well there are stress fractures which is a fracture that was caused by placing stress or pressure onto the bone to cause it, those CAN be hairline or larger. A hairline fracture is called such because it's that tiny- and unable to be diagnosed by x-ray. Hairline fractures CAN, however be caused by stress. Sorry if my original verbage was confusing.

0
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on July 20, 2012
at 12:13 PM

Does your insurance company require that you jump through a ton of hoops to get a referral to ortho or a podiatrist? I'm not sure if you saw your primary care doc or ortho for this. You may try to get an appointment with a different doc within the primary care clinic you go to.

Also, it's quite possible to have put too much stress on your foot with the Vibrams. I have worn mine for two years but only started running on them after about a year. I still ended up with a stress fracture in my foot after two months' running, mostly because I ramped it up too quickly with the minimalist shoes. Do you heel strike?

At any rate, good luck. I would strongly suggest you try to see a different doc if you can.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on July 20, 2012
at 11:27 AM

I used to have carpal tunnel symptoms that would come and go, but they disappeared when I went Paleo. I think the anti-inflammatory aspects of the diet really helped with what was probably an inflammation-related condition.

My wife has had significant soreness and weakness in her wrist for years. She is a yoga instructor so this causes some issues, she wears a brace and has to avoid certain poses. She went to one doctor that said the had a small ganglion cyst and that she should just wear a brace, which didn't really help. She went to a chiropractor who did chiropractor things to that area (manipulate the wrist, massage it, attack it with little blunt instruments) which made it feel a little better but didn't alleviate the pain or weakness.

She just started with a new physical therapist who did a full evaluation of her upper body and discovered that a set of muscles next to her shoulder blade were atrophied. She was compensating for this by twisting her upper body when doing exercises, which was putting undue pressure on a spot in her shoulder and the problem spot on her wrist. This was a great insight, and wife feels that the different areas are in fact related. The therapist put her on a set of exercises to strengthen those muscles. After a few weeks she has noticed a big improvement, and can do shoulder stand and head stand poses for the first time in years. You would not think that a muscle next to the shoulder blade would affect the wrist but apparently it did.

I guess the lesson here is to get several opinions and try several approaches, each doctor is trying to be helpful but has their own limited view of the human body.

0
88a669ef87f8138d6bbfbdace533a482

on July 06, 2012
at 02:48 AM

I suffered a stress fracture in my foot a few years ago, and they are very hard to see on x-ray... until they go off-kilter and then it really hurts. I had both pain and swelling, especially after I "walked it off" for a hour. I could hardly get my shoe off. I strongly suggest you see a podiatrist. Feet are complicated and you sound desperate. My podiatrist put me in a surgical shoe for 6 weeks and I've been fine ever since. I didn't need any medication.

0
B41cdb2253976ba9b429dd608d02c21f

(1495)

on June 22, 2012
at 12:08 AM

I had a stress fracture last fall. It was so incredibly painful, I knew what had happened.

I was told to not use it for running or weight lifting or even pushing off the wall swimming. I wore very padded shoes and walked slowly on the side of my foot. I took lots of calcium/magnesium and glucosamine/msm. It healed very slowly-much slower than what docs tell you. I resumed running after 3.5 months, very slowly building my mileage. I was able to gradually start adding weight training in after about 2.5 months.

Apologize if my spelling is off-trying to type this on my phone and can't really see the screen very well.

0
79fc447191de75e7c178951594a43f13

(448)

on June 21, 2012
at 10:05 PM

Possible solutions:

  1. talk to a chiropractor (or multiple chiropractors) for the both the wrist and the foot. Your pain could be caused by muscle tightness and/or bad alignment and a chiropractor (if the chiropactor is good) can help you work through that. Foot pain can be caused by tightness in the knees and hips. Oftentimes pain is caused by lack of motion in a joint. Getting the joint to move will reduce the pain.

  2. bad form on the bench press can cause wrist pain. bad form running can cause foot pain. Have someone watch you while you exercise.

  3. The book "Sports medicine Patient Advisor" by Pierre Rouzier might be helpful. It gives various rehab exercises to do.

  4. supplementing with omega 3 (fish oil) can reduce pain.

  5. check vitamin D status

  6. supplement with magnesium (best form of magnesium is magnesium glycinate) to reduce muscle soreness

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