What You Should Know about Stress Fractures

Posted on: 1 June 2015

A stress fracture is not usually an injury you get from instant trauma, but gradually over time. As an overuse injury, it is common among people who are athletes or who participate in cardio exercise frequently. Here is more information about this type of injury and what can be done about it.

Do you have a stress fracture?

The first thing you should know about this type of injury is how to identify it. The main symptom of a stress fracture is having pain that is not from trauma but associated with performing a particular activity. The pain is often chronic, where you will continue experiencing this pain around the same point every time you participate in that activity. For example, if you have a stress fracture from training for a marathon, you know that once you hit that 5-mile mark every day during your training, your ankle will start hurting. Another sign that you have a stress fracture and not a regular fracture is that you will feel relief shortly after a period of rest.

What causes this type of injury?

You already know that stress fractures are caused by continuous activity, but do you know why this happens? Your bones actually change often to adapt to the current environment. For example, astronauts can develop of thinning of their bones when they are in space. With stress fractures, it usually occurs when you change your activity level rapidly. If you have been walking a mile a day for a year and suddenly are jogging two miles a day, your bones don't have sufficient time to adapt to the new environment, which can cause the pain of a stress fracture.

There are also other factors that may lead to a higher risk of developing a stress fracture, such as eating poor diet with very little nutritional content, or going through menstrual irregularities. Therefore, women are at a higher risk for stress fractures than men are.

How are stress fractures treated?

There are a few treatment options that help relieve the pain from a stress fracture. The first and most important thing to do is get plenty of rest. You can also try icing the area that is causing you pain, which reduces swelling and inflammation. If it is causing more pain when just standing or walking, it is probably time to think about other footwear. Custom orthotics can be made which will help tremendously when bearing weight on that part of your body becomes uncomfortable. For assistance, talk to a professional like Northern Care Inc Prosthetics & Orthotics.