Stress fractures are injuries caused by overuse of the muscles. They are particularly common among athletes who participate in activities that tax the lower body. Proper diagnosis of these injuries is the first step in developing an effective treatment and prevention plan.
Causes of Stress Fractures
Unlike acute fractures, stress fractures occur as a result of lower, repeated force. They frequently occur in the legs, feet, and lower body because these areas sustain significant forces during activity. Overuse of the muscles weakens them and lowers their ability to absorb shock from movements. When the muscles cannot adequately absorb shock, it is transferred to the bone. This causes a small fracture, known as a stress fracture. Lowered bone density has also been found to increase the risk for stress fractures, particularly in older women.
Activities Associated with Stress Fractures
Stress fractures and other overuse injuries occur primarily in athletes that participate in activities that stress the lower body. These include runners, basketball players, gymnasts, and tennis players. All of these activities require the muscles to constantly absorb and distribute shock during play. If insufficient rest, recovery, and strengthening occurs, stress fractures and other overuse injuries become more likely.
Prevention of Stress Fractures
Injuries such as stress fractures occur when the body does not receive sufficient rest or the muscles are unable to continue absorbing shock. The key to preventing these injuries is to receive adequate rest between games and to take breaks during continuous activities such as lengthy tournaments or long-distance runs. Working up to more strenuous play by strengthening the muscles can also improve shock absorption and lower the incidence of overuse injuries.
You can get treatment for stress fractures and other sports-related injuries at Non-Surgical Orthopaedics of Marietta, GA. Our orthopaedic practice focuses on providing non-surgical solutions for injuries andpain management, including medication, rehabilitation, and joint injections. If you have questions about how we can help you get back in the game, contact us at 770-421-1420 or click on our website.