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nikipedia's avatar

Have you ever had a problem with no solution?

Asked by nikipedia (27669points) January 7th, 2011

I want to run long distances but no matter what I do I keep getting tendinitis. It is going on five months now, and it won’t go away completely. Even if I stop running for a few months and wait for it to heal 100%, it will almost certainly just come back. I have gone to the doctor twice and he can’t fix it.

Have you ever had a problem that couldn’t be solved? What was it? How did you deal with it?

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9 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Age. My body isn’t as elastic. It can’t take nearly the pounding it used to take. I used to be able to do all the diving board diving I wanted in an afternoon. Now I have to limit it to a half dozen dives a day or my heels with start hurting and my achilles tendon with tighten up. It doesn’t matter how much stretching or warming up I do.

So I cut back on what I do. I come to peace with it. Not easily, but it’s not as if I can make my telomeres longer in my home lab.

I have other problems that are a little ickier. Let’s just say that if you have a chronic condition, you have to deal with it the rest of your life. You have to bargain with it, and work with it and come to an accommodation where you can do as much of what you want to do without making your life more miserable that the doing is worth.

I assume your doctor was in sports medicine? If not, that’s who you need to see. And if he or she was, then find someone else to see if they agree. The other thing I would try is acupuncture. This is exactly the kind of problem that therapy is good at. I don’t care if it’s a placebo treatment or not, it still works. You want to harness the power of your mind to help you solve this problem. I also know a podiatrist who deals with this stuff every day. He’s quite good. Maybe there’s a good one in your neck of the woods, too.

crisw's avatar

Oh, lots of them. In the vein of what you mentioned, I have carpal tunnel syndrome. It recurs because I do so much work with my hands, and almost everything I really like to do (biking, woodworking, etc.) aggravates it.

Kardamom's avatar

I have a couple of relatives that have some pretty serious medical problems and are in quite a bit of pain. They won’t follow the doctors advise to take certain medications, try new treatments or do certain exercises or change their diets to help alleviate the pain. It’s very frustrating and heartbreaking, but you can’t force people to do things that they don’t want to do.

funkdaddy's avatar

My left thumb and right ankle are both toast.

The thumb progresses anytime I use it too much, first it hurts for a while, then gets weak, and then just refuses to do what I want it to anymore. It’s frustrating mainly because there just aren’t many alternatives when picking things up with two hands. I’ve been to the doctor, squeezed balls and used fancy rubber bands but it seems to be something that just isn’t going to go away.

The ankle is simpler, I just lost a bit of the range of motion there and if I tweak it I just need to quit for a while.

Regarding your running, perhaps instead of (or in addition to) a doctor find someone who will look at the way you run and advise you there. Recurrent injury may be a sign that you’re putting pressure on one of your joints either because of the way you balance on your feet or how your feet strike the ground. It takes a while to retrain yourself but could fix the problem permanently. It’s just a guess, but maybe worth a try.

You can also find resources online but it’s hard to run naturally and visualize your stride and figure out what to correct all at once.

Slightly related personal experience… For a few months I’d get a stitch in my side about half the time after about a mile. At first I thought I was just out of shape (true also) so kept trying to get through it, eventually I went to the doctor who basically had me try everything from eliminating dairy to doing situps. None of that worked.

Someone noticed I tied my breathing pattern to my steps and suggested changing that up. Something about your liver bouncing differently on exhales and always having the same foot hit right at the bottom was wearing out the connective tissues and causing the stitch. It sounded far fetched but no worse than two ounces of maalox before a run (the doctor threw me that gem just before I stopped asking him) Whatever the reason, changing my breathing pattern worked out well and fixed the problem.

Form resources from a quick google search:

http://www.runningplanet.com/training/running-form.html
http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-267-268-8210-0,00.html

janbb's avatar

I’ve had a few friends drop me and refuse to tell my why they did or try to resolve the issue. It bothers the hell out of me; I’m a solution finder and I can’t stand it that these people won’t engage with me any longer. But there’s nothing I can do about it.

Jeruba's avatar

If you’re speaking in medical terms, yes, I have several medical problems that can’t be solved. I spent 18 months going through a series of treatments for one of them; we tried everything: medication, pain patches, physical therapy, cortisone, etc., etc.. Eventually I lost heart and simply gave up trying, and so I just manage the pain as best I can.

Some have gone on for years and years. I have had more than one doctor shake their heads over various conditions, saying, in effect, “We don’t know what that is; looks like you’ll just have to live with it.” These things cover the gamut from epidermis to brain waves.

My mother had enough of these mysterious undiagnosable ailments that I used to wonder if she was an alien. I never doubted their reality, though. I have my own set. When she died, she basically died of “everything” without any clear cause.

What really bugs me is reading about people who are diagnosed with some utterly rare weird malady that only one in seven billion people have. How did the medical people ever find it? Why weren’t those patients sent home with the disappointing news that nobody knows what’s wrong with them, so they’ll just have to live with it?

faye's avatar

Oh, you bet. I have arthritis in most joints. If I think of running, I hurt. @Jeruba so I’m dealing with the pain, too. I do a little research about nerve blocks so that’s what I’m doing now. But there is no solution to this problem.

Jeruba's avatar

@faye, I have a selective nerve root block (cortisone injection) in the cervical vertebrae to thank for the onset (the very next day) of a sharp metallic headache that I had never had before. I know it is going to plague me for the rest of my life. I attribute it to nerve damage, and there’s nothing I can do about it. That’s the risk I have to weigh when that option is put on the table again. The condition for which I received it has not been helped.

faye's avatar

@Jeruba I had the cortisone, too, didn’t last long. I’m aiming for the radio wave ablation- burning. I’m sorry about the horrible headache- maybe some tweaking of the route of the injection could help.

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