Stress Fractures: The Common Causes

Stress Fractures: The Common Causes

Stress fractures often plague people who have become more active recently after changing from a sedentary lifestyle. From running to high-intensity workouts, these types of fractures typically occur when an athlete has increased his or her physical activity, or the frequency, duration, or intensity of such activity.

The above reasons aren’t the only way one may experience a stress fracture, however. Your diet, the mechanics of your foot, and even the equipment you are using may become common causes of stress fractures, such as the following:

You have a bone condition
Any condition that decreases bone strength and density, such as osteoporosis, can cause you to be at a higher risk of suffering from a stress fracture. Developing an issue like this is more common in the winter months since Vitamin D is lower in the body, so it is important to be sure you are consuming the proper amount and types of calories every day.

You are a female athlete
Female athletes are more prone to stress fractures than male athletes, due in part to decreased bone density from a condition that is often referred to as the female athlete triad. This happens when a young woman goes to extremes in dieting or exercise, often developing an eating disorder, menstrual dysfunction, as well as premature osteoporosis. This causes bone mass to decrease, increasing her risk for stress fractures.

You are doing too much, too soon
Typically occurring with individuals who are just beginning an exercise program, when they tend to start their exercise program at too fast of a pace, instead of starting off slowly, often pushing through any discomfort they may be experiencing, and not allowing their bodies the ample amount of time it needs to heal and recover, which then can lead to stress fractures.

You aren’t properly conditioning your feet
 Anytime you alter the mechanics of your foot, and how it absorbs impact as it strikes the ground, you can greatly increase your risk for a stress fracture. If you are experiencing any issues that may be impacting the way you are using the mechanics of your feet, such as a blister, or a bunion, this can affect how you put weight on your foot when you walk or run, causing a particular area of your foot and bone to handle more weight and pressure than normal, which can cause a stress fracture.

You are not properly supporting your feet
Worn shoes that have lost their shock-absorbing ability may contribute to stress fractures. This is why it is important that you are wearing a shoe that is supportive, but right for the particular activity you are doing.

If you have any questions or are concerned you may have a stress fracture, contact the Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois today!