Stress Fractures

A stress fracture is a fracture of a bone caused by repeated use, rather than a sudden impact fracture. It is a form of overuse injury. Bone is constantly remodeling itself with old bone being replaced by new bone. If the old bone is wearing out quicker than new bone can be formed, the bone weakens and may result in a microscopic stress fracture.  
Stress fractures most commonly occur in the foot or ankle, but can also occur in the tibia, femur and low back. The pain usually develops gradually becoming worse during exercise.  
What Causes Stress Fractures?   
  • Athletes - sudden increase in physical activity e.g. increasing intensity or frequency of training 
  • Non-athletes – sudden bout of exercise you are not used to, such as a long walk on an uneven surface on holiday for example
  • New style of running shoes
  • Bone Insufficiency – e.g. Osteoporosis  
  • Lower levels of Vitamin D, particularly during winter months  
  • Poor Conditioning – Doing too much too soon 
  • Improper technique/equipment 
  • Change in surface, e.g. clay tennis court to grass court  

Stress Fractures tend to be more common in girls and women.

How to assess & treat Stress Fractures? 
When any pain is felt more than a few days, it is best to seek treatment from your Osteopath as soon as possible to help prevent further injury. Rest is the key to the initial treatment of a stress fracture. Healing time is similar to other fractures varying between 4-12 weeks, depending upon the bone involved, before gradual increases in activity may be resumed. The most common cause of a relapse is returning to sports too early. We recommend you seek professional advice as soon as possible.     



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Rugby Osteopathic Centre, 69 Albert Street, Rugby
Warwickshire, CV21 2SN, Tel: 01788 560646, Fax:01788 571318
Email: reception@rugbyosteopaths.co.uk

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