Those who live an athletic lifestyle often find themselves subject to certain health concerns that are the result of the stress these activities put on their bodies. Stress fractures, for instance, are the result of repetitive stress on the bones of the foot and ankle. These breaks are very small and are the result of rapidly increasing the amount of activity an individual does in a short amount of time. While these injuries can often be quickly diagnosed using radiographic imaging (such as x-rays) and the time required to heal reduced if caught early, it’s best to avoid getting them at all.
How To Avoid Developing Stress Fractures While Staying Active
What’s important to understand about stress fractures is they aren’t sudden, unlike more major breaks. Instead, they represent a subtle and gradual injury that develops over time. Those who participate in activities that are high-impact, such as tennis, running, and basketball, are at risk. These activities can put a significant amount of pressure on the muscles and bones of your feet and legs. When the amount of force applied is more than the bones of your feet can handle, they may begin to form small cracks in the bone’s surface. In addition to taking care to increase your activity level gradually, there are other steps you can take to limit your danger of developing stress fractures.
- Proper Footwear – Getting special footwear for your workout is more than just a way to look great on the court or out on the road. It can protect your feet by providing the support you need. Conditions like fallen arches, flat feet, etc., may mean that you need specific kinds of support from your footwear.
- Modify Your Activity – We know you’re eager to reach your athletic goals, but a gradual modification of your activity levels will help ensure you aren’t slowed down by stress fractures later. You may also consider changing the location of your workout; natural surfaces are better than wooden or concrete floors when it comes to preventing stress fractures.
- Watch Your Nutrition – Ensuring you get enough of the nutrients and minerals you need to keep your bones strong and healthy is essential to your goals and preventing stress fractures. Yogurt, eggs, salmon, and leafy greens are a great source of Vitamin D and calcium, for instance.
- Weight Loss – We know this may be the driving force behind your activity, but it can’t be stated firmly enough how important this is in preventing stress fractures. Your feet experience your body weight in triplicate when you’re walking and significantly more when running. Every pound you lose is that much less that’s landing on your feet with each step.
How To Treat Stress Fractures
Should you follow the above guidelines and still end up getting stress fractures, there are a number of successful treatment methods available. To learn more about them, reach out to your ankle and foot specialist to find out what options they offer. While prevention is the best option, getting help quickly when stress fractures occur will help guarantee a full recovery.