Stress fractures are tiny cracks, like hairline fractures, in the bone. This is most often found in bones that are weight bearing. Commonly these fractures are found in the lower half of one’s legs and especially feet. We tend to overuse these bones without much thought, as we stand, walk, run, jump, or sprint daily. Therefore, it is necessary to treat these areas with the utmost respect and take solid care in them!
How to heal stress fractures?
Typically stress fractures will heal on their own. However, with proper care and possible surgery, it is more likely for the bones to heal properly and quickly.
If letting stress fractures heal on their own, it is crucial to follow specific criteria:
STAY AWAY from any activities or movements that add pressure to the injury.
Ice the area often- usually 15 minutes per sitting.
For pain, try over-the-counter medication like Tylenol.
Once pain dissipates, slowly reintroduce your typical activity, only easing up if feeling pain. Again, “gradually” is the KEY word!
Once completely healed, it is necessary to slowly and continuously increase your normal activity, so the injured area adapts to it easily and, therefore, avoids a recurrence.
How to prevent stress fractures from occurring?
There are several remedies one can do to prevent stress fractures from occurring.
When implementing a new exercise, begin slowly. Let your feet and body adjust to your new program as you gradually increase your endurance and strength.
Be sure to wear the most appropriate clothing or footgear needed for that specific exercise. This is a good excuse to buy yourself several pairs of shoes!
Keep a healthy, nutritional diet that is rich in Calcium and Vitamin D- bones need it1
If feeling pain while exercising, slow down and analyze where it is stemming from and baby it. Don’t let it worsen!
Do socks matter?
In a word, YES! Compression socks have extra padding and can contribute in the prevention of not only stress fractures, but for other ailments like blisters and any bone-related issue.
There isn’t one great shoe that will accommodate all different types of exercise. Therefore, it is important to do research on the best type for the exercise in question. Speaking to your podiatrist as well would be a great resource. Just remember, don’t go cheap. Investing in yourself will help you save pain and money in the long run!
Healing and Prevention:
It is in everyone’s best interest to focus on their feet, as most body aches stem from foot issues. Please visit your healthcare professional to maintain proper foot health and learn about the best ways to maintain proper foot care. Dr. Mark Forman, at Put Your Feet First, maintains a professional and caring staff who will accommodate your personal needs and provide you with the best plan moving forward. Call Put Your Feet First now at 480.229.7348 and begin living pain-free!