29 May Stress fractures
A stress fracture is an injury that can potentially affect any weight bearing bone in the body. There are some bones which are more prone do developing stress fractures than others. More than 50% of stress fractures occur in the lower leg and foot.
The most common areas to develop stress fractures in the foot are the 5th metatarsal (outside of the foot), 2nd metatarsal (Towards the middle of the foot) and the navicular (inside of the foot about 1/3 of the way to the toes). Another common stress fracture in runners occurs in the tibia (shin bone).
Stress fractures are an overuse injury. Repeated trauma to a bone will result in small fractures developing which is the stress fracture. If not treated correctly it can progress into a fully blown fracture.
Stress fractures are often a result of training error such as too large an increase in training volume or intensity, poor technique or incorrect equipment i.e. footwear.
Treating stress fractures can be quite an arduous process as the rehab often involves long periods of rest from impact activity and immobilisation. Once the symptoms have resolved it is important that the reason for the stress fracture developing in the first place is addressed in order to prevent recurrence.
Some treatment that you can begin at home is to apply ice to the painful area if it begins to ache. The ice will help reduce the inflammation and will also have an analgesic effect.