Stress Fractures- How They Can Hamper Your Goals

Stress Fractures in FeetIs a Stress Fracture Hindering Your Running?

With the increased running craze, many people are attempting to run a marathon or participate in the triathlon. As a result, I am seeing more patients with a stress fracture come into the office. Many of them are new to running and have not gone through the proper training for their event. As a result, they are running long distances which put an increased force or stress on their bones which can cause hairline cracks or breaks in the bones of the feet. They wonder why their foot hurts and swells.

Signs of stress fractures can include pain, redness, swelling and sometimes a bruised appearance. Many people think it is not possible to walk on a foot with a fracture. This is not true. Just because you can walk on the foot, does not mean that the bone is not broken or that there is not a more serious problem.

Improper training is a common cause of stress fractures in athletes. Many people try to do too much too soon. A good rule is not to increase your mileage by more than 10 percent per week. You should also allow time for rest between workouts for your body to repair itself.

It is also important to wear the proper shoes and shoes that fit properly. If your feet pronate excessively, you may need custom orthotics to help prevent injury.

Early diagnosis and treatment are important to ensure proper healing. If you think you may have a stress fracture, follow the RICE principle. R is for rest, I for ice, C for compression and E for elevation. If pain continues for a few days, then you should come into the office for diagnosis and treatment.

With proper care, you will be on your way to reaching your athletic goal.

Photo Credit: Zirconicusso via

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle
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