How to Prevent a Stress Fracture

How to Prevent a Stress Fracture

Stress fractures are hairline cracks in bones. These injuries start small, and you may not even notice you’re injured at first. But over time, the fracture grows worse and begins to limit your favorite activities.

Stress fractures are common, but the good news is that they’re often preventable. Whether you have foot pain now or you’re hoping to prevent future injury, you’ve come to the right place. 

Lisa Burson, DPM, Joe Aoun, DPM, and our team at The Foot & Ankle Specialists offer preventive tips and prompt care for stress fractures and other common foot and ankle injuries.

Who gets stress fractures?

Stress fractures develop because of repetitive stress on delicate bones in the body. Anyone can get a stress fracture if they engage in repetitive, weight-bearing activities, and this type of injury is particularly common among athletes.

Sports that involve running and jumping may increase the likelihood of stress fracture, including:

Although athletes are most affected by stress fractures, you don’t have to be an athlete to have one. Older people and people with osteoporosis naturally have more fragile bones, and simply walking or standing too long can cause fractures to develop.

How to prevent stress fractures

Stress fractures are common, but that doesn’t mean they’re inevitable. If you engage in sports or you have a health condition that weakens your bones, it’s important to learn what you can do to prevent a stress fracture. 

Choose the right shoes

Your shoes can make a big difference for your foot health. Choose supportive shoes that are appropriate for your sport or activity to help you avoid injuries like stress fractures.

Supportive shoes help distribute your body weight and take stress off your feet and ankles. If you aren’t sure where to start, our team can help you find shoes. We assess your feet and ask about your activities to determine what type of shoes you should be wearing.

Increase workout intensity gradually

Suddenly changing your workout routine or the intensity of your training sessions puts extra stress on your body. If you change your routine too quickly, it could increase your risk of stress fracture. Instead, introduce the new activity slowly to allow your body time to adjust and minimize your risk of injury.

If you want to change your workout routine, do it gradually. These changes could include adding a new exercise, increasing the intensity of your workouts, or even changing the location of your activity — for example, running on a trail instead of a treadmill. Learn stress fracture warning signs

Learn the signs of a stress fracture

Stress fractures start slowly, so it’s possible to have one without knowing it. The longer the stress fracture goes untreated, the worse it can become, so it’s important to learn the signs of injury and know when it’s time to rest.

Common symptoms of a stress fracture in the foot are:

If these symptoms sound familiar, don’t wait to get a foot exam. Dr. Burson and Dr. Aoun are here to identify the cause of your pain and recommend fracture treatment to get you back to your usual activities as quickly as possible.

Schedule a consultation at The Foot & Ankle Specialists for personalized tips to keep your feet strong and healthy.

You Might Also Enjoy...

You Don’t Have To Live With Warts

Bothered by a painful spot on the sole of your foot? If it looks like a callus, it could be a plantar wart. Find out why plantar warts develop and what to do if you find yourself living with a painful or embarrassing foot wart.

When Can I Exercise After Ankle Surgery?

When conservative treatment doesn’t stop your ankle pain, surgery may be your best option. Ankle surgery can offer long-lasting pain relief, but it requires a recovery period to heal properly. Learn when you can start your favorite activities again.

What Causes a Foot Wound that Won't Heal?

Everyone gets injured from time-to-time, but certain health conditions can interfere with your body’s ability to heal and can increase your risk of developing a serious and slow-healing wound. Learn why foot wounds develop and when to seek treatment.

How Does Diabetic Neuropathy Affect the Feet?

Diabetic neuropathy affects nearly half of all people with diabetes. It causes irreversible nerve damage, and it starts in your feet. Learn the common signs of diabetic neuropathy, the risks of the condition, and how you can protect your health.

Why Do I Have Heel Pain?

Your heels bear most of your body weight when you stand and walk — and when your heels hurt, you notice. Heel pain is a common complaint, but treatment can help. Learn about the most common causes of heel pain and how to find relief.

Understanding the Different Treatments for Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus damages your nails, making them discolored, brittle, and unsightly. It’s an extremely common infection, but it requires specialized treatment to cure. Keep reading to learn more about your treatment options for toenail fungus.