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Monday, 24 February 2020 00:00

What Is a Stress Fracture?

Stress fractures in the feet generally occur as a result of overuse. This typically happens to runners, or to people who stand for extended periods of time for the majority of the day. It is defined as a small fracture in the bone, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. Common symptoms of this condition can include increasing pain while performing daily activities, and the affected area may be bruised or swollen. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which typically consists of having an MRI taken, the healing process can begin. This can include wearing shoes that have additional cushioning while exercising, avoiding running on hard surfaces, and taking ibuprofen which may help in reducing pain. Additionally, if the stress fracture is severe, a boot or brace may be worn for additional support. If you have endured a stress fracture, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment method for you.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from The Podiatry Center, PC. Our doctors 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.

Risk Factors

  • 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 Millburn, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle