Stress fractures of the feet are particularly tricky to recognize. They are hairline cracks in the bones, frequently the long metatarsal bones in the midfoot and the calcaneus bone in the heel. They are considered repetitive injuries and that means the more you repeat an activity, the worse they become. But it can take a while before you even notice the problem. Signs that may help to identify a stress fracture include a deep ache in the foot, a dull pain midway into the activity that fades when you rest, and a pain that just doesn’t go away. Other hints are pain that occurs even when you are not active, pain that worsens at night, and pain that begins about a week after increasing your activity level. Treatment for stress fractures may take weeks or even months. As soon as you recognize that something is wrong, it is a good idea to stop the activity causing the pain and make an appointment with a podiatrist for a full examination.
Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.
How Are They Caused?
Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon. Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.
- Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
- Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
- Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
- Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
- Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures
Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.