Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bone caused by over-use and repetitive force put on the bones such as running and jumping. A bone goes through a cycle of resorption and growth of bone where the bone cells are constantly being replaced. 

Repetitive force does not give your bones enough time between resorption and regrowth. This is when a stress fracture can occur. Stress fractures can also be caused by conditions that weaken the bones such as osteoporosis.
At first, stress fractures are barely noticeable, but can quickly become extremely painful.

Symptoms:
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Pain even when in rest 
  • Increased pain with activity
  • Earlier onset of pain with continuous exercising
Preventing stress fractures:

  • Having shoes that fit well and are appropriate for the activity is important
  • Adjusting to a new exercise program slowly will help your bones adjust properly 
  • Mechanical problems like high or flat arches can necessitate custom orthotics to prevent stress fractures. 
  • A diet with plenty of vitamin D and calcium can help improve bone density 
Treatment:
  • Unfortunately for people who love to run or are athletes, rest from activities that place impact on the affected bone is the primary form of treatment in order for the bone to heal. 
  • Non-impact activities such as swimming and bicycling can maintain fitness while not placing any further stress on the fracture.
  • Icing the area can reduce inflammation and pain
  • Massaging the area will stimulate blood flow to the area to encourage healing. 
Prevention is the best cure for stress fractures since they are most commonly an over-use injury. This injury is unfortunately one that recurs easily so be sure to check with your podiatrist to see what the best form of prevention is for you.

If you have any foot or ankle pain, please contact us.

Have A Happy Feet Day! 

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