Stress fractures are some of the most common injuries that exist, especially for those who participate in sports. The foot is comprised of 26 bones, many of them being tiny ones that break easily. When you consider the fact that your feet absorb a lot of force from walking and running, it make sense that these injuries would be so prevalent.
What Is A Stress Fracture?
A stress fracture is a tiny crack in a bone that is caused by overuse, repeated motion, or blunt force. If a fracture occurs on account of repetitive motion, often this means that force, such as your body’s weight, is being continually applied. Muscles usually absorb the shock, but they can become fatigued in time. This leaves it up to the bone to handle the force, which can result in the formation of a hairline crack.
These surface cracks can happen in most bones, but are especially likely to occur in foot bones, due to the amount of force placed upon them during running activities. These bones are responsible for supporting bodyweight, but this function involves trauma to the hard tissue. This condition can take place as a result of an isolated incident, as well. So if you are playing soccer and strike your foot against an opponent’s shin as you attempt to kick the ball, you might sustain this type of injury.
What Activities Make Athletes More Prone?
Not all sports are equally risky when it comes to the chance of an athlete developing a stress fracture. More prominent ones in this regard include basketball, tennis, and track and field. Essentially, sports that take place on hard surfaces create a greater risk than those played on a soft surface, like grass. It is important to note that going from a relatively sedentary lifestyle to a more active one is going to increase the likelihood of a fracture occurring, too. This is an important reason why you should ease into a new workout program, instead of trying to do too much too quickly.
Seeing These Symptoms? Come and See Us
If you experience pain or tenderness that flares up during activity, but subsides during rest, it is certainly possible that you have a fractured bone. There may be swelling around the area, as your body’s response to injury is to rush extra blood and fluid to the injury.
It is important that you come in and see us at Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle if you think you might have sustained a stress fracture in your foot or ankle. We will take X-rays of the impacted area and go over the results with you.
How Can We Help?
If you do have a fracture, we will discuss a treatment plan with you. It is likely that this means keeping as much of your body weight off the affected bone as possible, and resting in order to give your body the time it needs for natural healing processes. It is likely that a protective boot or brace, or crutches, can help ease pressure on the bone. There is a slight chance surgery would be necessary, but most cases do not require it.
Prevent Fractures in the First Place
Stress fractures can be painful and no one wants to be injured, so there are measures you can take to prevent this condition from happening to you. As previously noted, ease into physical activity in order to give your body a chance to acclimate to the pressure you will be placing upon it. Cross-training is helpful because it entails varying your workouts. By mixing it up, you avoid the repetitive trauma that can cause problems. A healthy diet will provide you with the proper nutrients for strong bones. The use of proper equipment will help protect your body, as well, and this includes replacing old and worn running shoes with new ones.
If you live in either the Spring Hill or Hudson, FL, areas and need top-flight foot and ankle care, or simply would like additional information, do not hesitate to call and schedule an appointment with Lawrence Kales, DPM. Contact us at either (352) 683-5799 for our Spring Hill office or (727) 868-2128 for our Hudson office today!