Wellness Articles

Stress Fractures

Running Injuries treated by Vancouver Sports Therapy

A stress fracture is a partial to complete hairline break in a bone, without displacement, due to repeated trauma and with no history of overt trauma.

The bones most commonly affected are:
1. Metatarsals (foot bones)- especially the second one
2. Tibia (shin)
– upper shaft more common in dancers and gymnasts
– lower shaft- more common in runners
3. Fibula- lower 1/3rd above lateral malleolus
4. Calcaneus (heel)

Metatarsal Stress fracture
1. Usually a result of repetitive microtrauma (overuse) from jumping, marching, running, dancing.
2. Bone deformity causing a weight transfer through the bones of the foot
3. Biomechanical faults creating an increased pronation of the foot or foot slap
4. Osteoporosis- women who do not have a regular or any cycle are at an increased risk.

Tibial Stress Fracture
1. Often preceded by “shin splints”
2. Biomechanical faults creating an increased pronation of the foot or foot slap
3. Overuse
4. Osteoporosis- women who do not have a regular or any cycle are at an increased risk.

Generally, patients present with acute pain but they can not determine what initiated the pain. The pain increases in its severity quite abruptly and decreases with rest.

As mentioned, stress fractures often result as an overuse injury in runners, dancers, gymnasts, or athletes involved in jumping or running. Often the athlete engages in impact on hard or uneven surfaces, increases mileage quickly, has a change in routine, or has poor footwear (or none at all.)

Prevention is key!
1. Warm up the lower leg muscles sufficiently
2. Ensure you’re wearing proper footwear whenever possible
3. Gradually increase the mileage or intensity of your training

Treatment
A. Acute
1. RICE (ice massage)
2. Electrotherapy to decrease inflammation (IFC)
3. Hydrotherapy
4. IV therapy
5. Adjustments to correct biomechanics faults

B. Chronic
1. Adjustments as necessary
2. Modify exercise program
3. Isometric and isotonic rehabilitation exercises
4. Ultrasound
5. Orthotics

Have a great week,
Dr. Crysta Serné
Vancouver Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic

Related Articles:
Running injuries
Plantar Fascitis
Short Leg Syndrome
Shin Splints

 

 



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