Activity followed by pain that improves with rest but worsens with activity. This is the injury cycle of a stress fracture. Caused by overload or overuse, stress fracture is common among athletes and sports enthusiasts—read on to find out why.
Causes & Triggers
- Changes in playing surface
- Improper shoes or equipment
- Overuse or overload of stress on the foot
- Rapid increase in activity or intensity
- Repetitive stress, especially from sports activities like tennis, running, gymnastics
Signs & Symptoms
- Pain that subsides with rest
Tips & Treatment
- More than half of all stress fractures occur in the lower leg and foot.
- Women are more prone to stress fractures than men.
- Treatment requires rest from the offending activity and very gradual resumption but only when pain-free.
- Orthotics or shoe inserts and/or braces may help in healing.
- Eat well and exercise sensibly, including eating a calcium-rich diet and cross-training with a variety of activities and exercise options.
- Support feet with proper, well-fitting shoes.