Stress fractures generally occur because of overuse. They are considered to be a hairline fractures of the bones in the foot, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. The foot may become swollen and tender, and in severe cases, bruising may develop. They are a common condition among people who enjoy running, or frequently participating in jumping activities. Some of the reasons stress fractures may develop can include rapidly increasing the intensity of a sport or exercise, or the surface that is run on or played upon can change. Research has indicated stress fractures may be prevented by slowly increasing the intensity of the chosen sport, in addition to maintaining a healthy diet. If you have foot pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat stress fractures.
Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. 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 Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.