Tuesday, 19 December 2023 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Foot Stress Fractures

Foot stress fractures, prevalent among runners, are primarily attributed to overuse, constituting 80 percent of cases. The repetitive forces during running may cause microscopic bone damage, escalating into hairline fractures if adequate recovery time is not provided. Sudden increases in running volume, intensity, or frequency, common in the overtraining syndrome, can make it worse. Running form also plays a role, especially with those who have a pronounced heel strike. However, transitioning abruptly to a forefoot strike or wearing minimal footwear can similarly increase the risk of metatarsal stress fractures. Nutrition is a vital factor in preventing stress fractures of the feet. Low vitamin D levels, specifically during winter, elevate the risk of stress fractures. Runners, especially women, face heightened risk if conditions such as osteoporosis or menstrual cycle-related amenorrhea are present. Additionally, sudden changes in running surfaces, such as switching from trails to roads without proper training, can elevate the risk. Wearing proper footwear is equally as important. Old, ill-fitting shoes that lack proper support can increase bone stress. Balancing training intensity, adopting gradual changes in running techniques, maintaining a nutritious diet, and ensuring proper footwear are key components of a comprehensive approach to foot health and injury prevention. For help in managing foot stress fractures, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Paul Drucker from NYC Foot Care, PC. Our doctor 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.

Risk Factors

  • 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 offices located in 70th Street Manhattan, 60th Street Manhattan, Jamaica, Queens, Plainview, NY and Fair Lawn, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

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