Stress fractures can be caused very easily. Especially in time when most people decide that they will start to do some sport. Please be assured that you won’t hurt your body any further in order to get into condition as quickly as possible!
It is precisely because of the increased pressure on the bone when the microcracks occur, they are able to heal quickly if they have enough time. They most often occur on the bones of the lower limbs (femur, calf bone, humerus) and the metatarsal bones of the foot. If the bone is exposed to an increased pressure for a longer period of time, the small injured area will initially be expanded by further microcracks. Under normal circumstances, the bone is healed by a ligamentous muscle tissue that gradually mineralizes and forms bone marrow. If the damaged area is constantly stressed, the healing process is disturbed and does not work properly. The ligamentous muscle is gradually increasing in site and is later seen on the X-ray image. This condition is referred to as the stress fracture.
The above mentioned troubles are not affecting only athletes, etc. they affect basically anyone who decides to start with a new physical activity and creates excessive amount of pressure on the bone right from the start. The endangered group of people are also people suffering from osteoporosis, whose bones are weakened thanks to the illness, therefore they are also more prone to injury even during normal burdening.
- Pain - from the start it is non-distinctive, backing up after activity, gradually worsening, appearing even in a peaceful regime and it can make any movement impossible.
- Increased sensitivity to touch in a specific area.
Even though it may not seem so, the bone is an active organ, which is constantly changing according to the needs of the organism. The reconstruction is secured by two types of cells.
The damaged, inoperative bone is broken down and removed by one type and the other creates new bone mass. Depending on the load, the bone can be remodeled and it can also adapt. However, not enough time for regeneration, will lead to imbalance in the bone tissue between the new bone formation and bone degradation. Both processes happen at the same time, increasing the "bone tiredness", which will later result in a stress fracture. If the stress persists, a complete fracture of the damaged bone may occur.
- Types of sport - most frequently by athletes, runners, basketball players, volleyball players, ice hockey players, tennis players, dancers and soldiers.
- Increased activity - transition between sedentary work and active trainin
- Gender - women in menopause
- Architecture of the foot arch - flat foot but also high arched foot
- Bone disease - osteoporosis
For the fastest possible recovery you need to keep a peaceful regime. The speed of recovery is depending on the timely treatment. You can then also avoid fixation of the disabled leg. In an acute stage it is recommended to apply ice on the area to reduce the swelling and relieving the pain.
For a faster regeneration of the bone tissue we use the focused shock wave therapy, thanks to which we stimulate the bone cells for faster regeneration. We also use kinesio tape to relieve the overloaded muscle groups.
If you start with a new exercise or sport, increase the level of pressure gradually, so that the body would have enough time for adaptation. It is ideal to train under professional supervision.
Whether you are starting to run, or you found some other sport activity, do not underestimate the choice of shoes and do not hesitate to get advice from a specialist in the store.
If your favorite sport is tennis, then include in your training also compensating exercises to strengthen and stabilize your whole body as a prevention against problems resulting from one-sided burden (exercising on a gym ball, swimming,...). Basically it is about relieving the overloaded part of the body and at the same time to prevent any stress fractures.
The effect of correct nutrition for your body, whether you are a professional or weekend athlete, plays a big role. Include a sufficient amount of vitamins and calcium in your food.
Author: FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Clinical experience from private practice in physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOklinika