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Stress Fractures Explained: Prevention, Causes and Treatment

Posted on in Pain, Surgery

A fracture is a mini-break or hairline crack in your bone, and even though it doesn’t result in a true break or splinter, it can still cause pain and disruption of motor function and normal activity in the affected area. Stress fractures usually result in pain or tenderness around the affected area.

What Causes a Stress Fracture?

As the name suggests, a stress fracture results from stress on the body. Usually this means a repeated motion or strain that puts force on a certain area and eventually results in the crack.

Because the bones of the lower leg and the foot bear the most weight in the body, stress fractures are most common in that area. Stress fractures are also most common in athletes or exercise enthusiasts who regularly put a large amount of repetitive strain on their bodies. Still, they can happen to anyone.

How Do You Treat a Stress Fracture?

Many different treatment options exist for a stress fracture, the first being to rest the area. Icing the area will help to bring swelling down. When you do resume activity, do so slowly and carefully.

If that doesn’t help, you may need a walking boot or other supportive device that will aid in healing. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary, but that is fairly uncommon. Most stress fractures can heal with rest.

Can You Prevent Stress Fractures?

It is definitely possible to minimize the chances of getting a stress fracture in the first place. Stress fractures commonly occur when people launch new exercise routines without proper buildup, you should avoid doing too much too soon. Ease into a new exercise routine and build up your strength and ability slowly.

Wear supportive shoes, especially if you have high arches or flat feet, when working out. You should also cross-train to strengthen the muscles surrounding the bone and eat right to be sure you receive the proper nutrition your body needs. Avoid high heels whenever possible.

Wondering if you might be suffering from a stress fracture? If your problem is in the foot or lower legs, as is quite common with this issue, talk to a qualified orthopedic specialist at Southeast Orthopedics Specialistsabout your options. If the fracture is in another area of your body, see your doctor or another qualified physician, so you can get the problem resolved as soon as possible.

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