Stress fractures occur when the foot experiences continual micro-trauma. This is common in athletes who push themselves in order to improve their performance. Stress fractures are caused by accumulative micro damage and can lead to small or large breaks. The body is capable of healing micro damage before it accumulates, but if the overuse is too intense, then the foot does not have time to heal itself. Factors that increase the risk of stress fractures are high running mileage, training errors, low bone density, inappropriate footwear, and high ridged arches. The pain associated with stress fractures is usually gradual, but can also begin with sudden pain. Localized bony pain and tenderness are the most common signs of stress reactions or fractures. It is important to lower the level of impact on your foot if you start to experience symptoms, so your body can heal itself. If you think you may have a stress fracture or are showing early signs of one, then it is suggested you consult with a podiatrist to learn about treatment options.
Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.
How Are They Caused?
Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon. Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.
- Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
- Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
- Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
- Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
- Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures
Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle