Hunted
My MRI said I have a stress reaction, but... 5/13/2010 2:46AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
After a several-month-long bout (involving 6 weeks off) of what my doctor called "presumed compartment syndrome" because the symptoms were so obviously compartment syndrome, I had the pressure test done. I had difficulty invoking my symptoms on the run that day. The pressure was not high enough to diagnose me with compartment syndrome, although it was higher than normal.

I had an MRI done and my doctor said that he saw evidence of tibial stress reactions, which would be causing my pain. He thinks I need to take a few months off to allow the stress reactions to heal.

Here's the thing: I have no pain whatsoever in my tibia. At all. My only pain is in the muscles, which swell and grow hard as I run, making it difficult for me to move them, then quickly relax within a few minutes after running. I don't understand how this entirely muscular pain could be a stress reaction.

I saw this article (http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/content/full/183/3/635) about asymptomatic tibial stress reactions, where 43% of competitive college runners without any symptoms showed tibial stress reactions in MRIs. These stress reactions never caused any damage to them. So maybe, I thought, these tibial stress reactions were just noise? Maybe they weren't really what was causing my issue?

Does anybody else have experience with this type of thing? How do tibial stress reactions normally feel? Is it common to feel no pain in the tibia?
lohalloran
RE: My MRI said I have a stress reaction, but... 5/13/2010 7:40AM - in reply to Hunted Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You pain could also be coming from the muscles contracting to protect the damaged tibia.

Why not get a second opinion about the pressure test and have that doc take a look at the MRI.
former track star
RE: My MRI said I have a stress reaction, but... 5/13/2010 8:20AM - in reply to lohalloran Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I don't know about the tibia specifically, but i once got a bone scan (for a problem in my foot, turned out to be non-bone-related), and it showed stress reactions all over the place. Most of them did not hurt.
cross bluntry
RE: My MRI said I have a stress reaction, but... 5/13/2010 12:37PM - in reply to former track star Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I once got an MRI on my knee, and the doctor told me I had a stress reaction. after further review (including an MRI of the other leg as a sort of "control" test), he decided it wasn't a stress reaction at all--just "prominent red marrow." apparently this is common among distance runners (so the radiologist said, at least), so this may be the case with you as well.
jaguar1
RE: My MRI said I have a stress reaction, but... 5/13/2010 1:32PM - in reply to Hunted Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The muscles are attached to bones via tendons. Where the tendons attach is where the stress on the bones is the greatest. If the muscles are overused/fatigued, more of the stress is transferred to the bones at tendon attachment. Think of muscles as shock absorbers. A stress reaction doesn't always produce symptoms, but given the close relationship of muscle-to-bone, the appearance of a stress reaction indicates stress to that whole area.

Have you gotten any treatment such as massage or ART? The problem could be scar tissue causing "taut" muscles, and these scar tissue adhesions need to be released.
Mr Mountain
RE: My MRI said I have a stress reaction, but... 5/13/2010 5:50PM - in reply to jaguar1 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

jaguar1 wrote:



Have you gotten any treatment such as massage or ART? The problem could be scar tissue causing "taut" muscles, and these scar tissue adhesions need to be released.



You also want to have a GOOD massage therapist work on your PELVIS & HIP FLEXORS. Those may be the cause of the referred pain. When they tighten up, they cause other muscles to tighten up also.