Stress fractures

A stress fracture is an overuse injury. It occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb added shock. Eventually, the fatigued muscle transfers the overload of stress to the bone causing a tiny crack called a stress fracture.

Stress fractures often are the result of:

  • increasing the amount or intensity of an activity too rapidly
  • impact of an unfamiliar surface (a tennis player who has switched surfaces from a soft clay court to a hard court);
  • improper equipment (a runner using worn or less flexible shoes)
  • increased physical stress (a basketball player who has had a substantial increase in playing time)        

The most common symptom of stress fractures is pain with acitivty which subsides with rest

Treatment of the injury includes:

  • rest
  • immobiliation during the healing phase
  • monitored return to activity
  • orthotic therapy
  • addressing underlying biomechanical abnormalities
  • stretching and strengthening progams

It is critical that there injuries are managed by professionals to reduce the risk of reinjury. Reinjury can result in the condition becoming chronic.