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What is a Stress Fracture?

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 00:00

Have you recently gone on vacation, and walked more than you usually do at home on a day to day basis? Do you now have pain in your ankle or foot? Stress fractures don’t only occur in people who run and exercise daily, because anyone is at risk. Typically, this type of injury can be caused by a sudden increase in physical activity. Examples are an increase in exercise frequency, running on a different surface, and even changing your shoes can all be causes of a stress fracture. A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone, or severe bruising within a bone. To prevent stress fractures, it is suggested that you implement a proper nutrition regiment, wear shoes that fit correctly, and start slowly when beginning any new exercise routine. If you believe you have a stress fracture, it is strongly advised to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. Prior to your appointment, it is suggested that you  elevate your foot which may help to relieve swelling.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. 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 one of our offices located in Kirkland, Everett, and Renton, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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