By Center for Podiatric Medicine
March 16, 2017
Category: Foot Health
Tags: stress fractures
Foot fractures aren't only caused by falls and other injuries. Stress fractures can also cause small, but painful, breaks in bones. Schaumburg, IL, podiatrists - Dr. Mark Jones, Dr. Bryan Hersh, Dr. Michael Lacey and Dr. George Tsoutsouris - shares a few causes of stress fractures.
What are stress fractures?
Stress fractures cause small, hairline cracks in bones. The fractures typically affect the heel, ankle or bones in the middle of the foot.
Common causes of stress fractures
Stress fractures usually occur due to overuse injuries. It's difficult for stressed and overworked muscles to absorb the shock of running, jumping or other activities. If your muscles just can't handle the additional stress, they'll transfer the burden to your bones.
Increasing the intensity or duration of exercise increases your risk of developing a stress fracture. For example, if you usually only run a few miles a day, but decide to push yourself to prepare for a marathon, you may develop a stress fracture. It doesn't what matter activity or sport you play. If you don't gradually increase the time you spend walking, jogging, running or jumping, or try to accomplish too much too soon, you'll be more likely to suffer from a stress fracture.
Other factors that can cause stress fractures include:
Footwear Choices: Stress fractures can occur if you don't replace your running shoes every few months or wear shoes that don't adequately cushion and support your foot when you walk or run.
Poor Form: The way your foot strikes the ground when you walk or jump can increase your stress fracture risk, as poor form can put too much stress on one area of your foot.
Surface Changes: Surface changes may also make you more susceptible to stress fractures. If you typically run on a dirt path but begin running on asphalt, your risk will rise.
Osteoporosis: People who have osteoporosis are at increased risk of developing stress fractures.
Stress fracture treatment
Most stress fractures heal if you stay off your feet as much as possible, use ice and take anti-inflammatory medications. Your foot doctor may also recommend that you wear a boot or cast or use crutches to keep weight off your foot while it heals. Occasionally, surgery may be needed to treat a stress fracture.
Are you concerned that your foot pain may be caused by a stress fracture? Make an appointment with Schaumburg, IL, podiatrists - Dr. Jones, Dr. Hersh, Dr. Lacey and Dr. Tsoutsouris - by calling one of these offices: Schaumburg, IL, (847) 352-1473, Chicago, IL, (312) 923-1100, Elmhurst, IL, (630) 782-9600, Highland, IN, (219) 923-9090 or St. John, IN, (219) 627-2955.