It’s that time of year again.
No. Not Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It’s stress fracture time!
The return to school means more stress fractures happen. We see this for a few reasons:
What is a stress fracture?
It’s a tiny hairline crack in your bone.
And it results from a sudden increase in physical activity. This could mean returning to physical exercise after the summer off. It could also happen to an adult getting back into shape again. It also happens to people in good shape who simply won’t give their body time off.
Basically, your body can’t handle the sudden increase in activity that you’ve engaged in.
Stress fractures happen most often in the long bone leading to your second toe right next to your big toe. They also happen frequently in your tibia (shin) and fibia.
Stress fractures can be tricky to diagnose. That’s because they don’t always appear on an X-ray.
The bone needs to have a 30-50% decrease in density. If that’s not present, you’re not going to see a stress fracture on an X-ray.
MRIs can be used for greater accuracy. And sometimes, simply your exercise history is enough to diagnose the condition.
The best method for treatment is to prevent stress fractures from ever happening in the first place. And you can do that by:
Treatment depends on the severity of the issue. It can include some or all of the following:
Stress fractures are painful. However, they won’t sideline you for long with the right treatment approach. And they won’t sideline you at all if you take the correct preventative action in the future.