Spring Activity Can Sometimes Bring Stress Fractures
HealthDay News reports if you're getting back into walking, running or outdoor sports this spring, you could be at risk for a common injury known as a stress fracture. According to HSS foot and ankle surgeon Mark C. Drakos, MD, a stress fracture is a small break or crack caused by repeated impact on a bone that is starting to weaken from overdoing it, and feet are particularly more vulnerable.
“Stress fractures often occur in runners, people who play high-impact repetitive sports and in older people who have weakened bones,” explained Dr. Drakos. Individuals who don’t get enough rest between workouts or who keep playing a sport despite exhaustion are also susceptible, as are people who take steroids, he added. Pain, swelling and bruising are symptoms of a stress fracture. If you think you have one, immediately stop doing any activity that causes discomfort, advised Dr. Drakos. Rest is the primary treatment. If pain comes on suddenly, apply ice and elevate the foot. If it's not better after a few hours or if you have pain on days when you're not exercising or playing sports, see a doctor, reccomended Dr. Drakos.
David A. Wang, MD, sports medicine physician at HSS, saw an increase in stress fractures among people who were inactive during pandemic lockdowns and then resumed an activity too quickly. He noted the key is to gradually build up your activity level to make sure your body can handle it. "If you've never run before and want to start running, for example, start with walking first, then jogging and then gradually start running," advised Dr. Wang.
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