Tuesday, 25 June 2024 00:00

Causes and Risk Factors for Foot Stress Fractures

Stress fractures, common to runners and other athletes, result in placing excessive strain on the foot bones. One significant cause of stress fractures is a sudden increase in physical activity, whether it involves frequency, duration, or intensity. Transitioning from soft surfaces such as indoor tracks to harder ones like sidewalks can stress the bones of the feet. Improper technique due to foot conditions like blisters or bunions can also contribute by altering the foot's natural movement patterns and redistributing weight unevenly. Footwear that is poorly fitting, worn-out, or lacking proper support significantly increases the risk of stress fractures. While athletes commonly experience these injuries, non-athletes are also susceptible from extended walking on uneven terrain during vacations. Other risk factors for foot stress fractures, including osteoporosis, which reduces bone density and strength, as well as low vitamin D levels. Female athletes face other risks, possibly due to biomechanical differences, hormonal factors, and nutritional deficiencies. If you are experiencing pain in your foot after activity, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for appropriate testing and treatment options.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Mercer Ocean Podiatry. Our doctors 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 Hamilton, Toms River, and Plainsboro Township, 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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