What are Stress Fractures?
Stress fractures are often associated with professional athletes, however if you work out frequently you can be affected too! If you exercise on a regular basis you have higher chances to develop stress fractures and it is better to be aware, so you can prevent it. So...What is it exactly? By definition, stress Fracture is a tiny crack in the bone that’s most often caused by overuse.
What can cause Stress Fractures?
Intense exercise such as hard cardio, jumping up and down or hard runs will increase your odds of developing a stress fracture in your feet. This condition occurs most often with high intensity sports like tennis, basketball or long distance running. It is very common that people who have a sudden change in their workout routine ( such as changing the surface of your runs from treadmill to outdoors run or start training intensively without gradualism) develop this condition. Other causes include Osteoporosis or similar diseases that weaken bone strength and density.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms stress fractures are:
- Pain, swelling or aching at the site of fracture.
- Pain which is worse shifting weight to one foot
- Pain which occurs during everyday activities of rest
- Tenderness or instant pain when touched on the bone
- Pain that goes away after rest
- Pain that’s present throughout the activity and does not diminish after the activity has ended
- Bruising ( not necessarily comes with stress fractures but it can happen)
What should I do if I think I have Stress Fractures?
Good news is that most stress fractures can be healed by itself with lowering your physical activity and rest. The average healing time of a smaller stress fracture is 6-7 weeks. It is advised that you stay away from physical activity for 10 weeks the least. If the pain is severe or it does not get better after rest, seek medical help as in some cases medication, physical therapy or surgery is needed.
- Exercise in moderation
- Listen to your body, train gradually and allow your muscles to get used to harder exercises, if you’re new to a sport seek help from a trainer
- Make sure you wear proper shoes for your feet type
- Include plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your diet
- Invest in shoe accessories such as shoe insoles and compression socks
- Always stretch before starting your exercise
Never forget that our feet are the foundation of our body. Instead of training hard, always chose to train wisely. If you feel injured always give yourself time to rest. If our feet are injured it affects other parts of the body and can lead to pain in other areas such as your calves or your lower/ upper back. Hence, ensuring and maintaining healthy feet is crucial for your overall health. Never compromise your health for fast results.