A stress fracture of the foot is an injury often seen in people who take part in high impact sports. A stress fracture is a hair line/very fine fracture, rather than a complete break. While it may only be small, it can be intensely painful. If a stress fracture in the foot is not treated, it may resolve on its own if the patient stays off the foot and gets plenty of rest for several months. However, there are also a number of things that a person can do in terms of stress fracture foot treatment to move the healing process along faster.
Who Gets Stress Fractures in The Feet Most Often?
Athletes who participate in activities that involve running and jumping, for example basketball, may be most at risk for a fracture in the foot or leg area. Both adolescents and adults get stress fractures commonly, with young children appearing to be less at risk unless they participate heavily in sports. People who are brand new to a specific exercise routine or type of workout are more likely to develop stress fractures in the feet because they are placing unaccustomed pressure on the feet and legs. For this reason, it is important to condition the muscles slowly and build up tolerance for any new exercise routine. People with fallen arches or very high arches may be more at risk for stress fractures due to improper weight distribution, so it can be very helpful to wear shoes that are custom designed for the specific foot issue. Finally, people who have suffered a stress fracture of the foot previously are about 60 percent more likely to have the same injury again in the future.
What Are The Stress Fracture Symptoms?
Knowing when there is a stress fracture in your foot is not always easy, but there are a couple of signs that strongly point to a fracture of this type. Dull pain, whether it is consistent or sporadic, is the main and most obvious sign of a foot stress fracture. It will often get worse any time that the feet are in use, so standing and walking are often painful. Exercise may become so painful that it is impossible to continue. Many people who have a foot stress fracture also experience considerable swelling in their foot and possibly even the lower leg.
How Are Stress Fractures in The Leg Treated?
The length of stress fracture foot recovery time can depend upon the treatment path. Rest is always a key part of recovery, and many people benefit from stress fracture foot strapping, also known as foot taping. Foot strapping immobilizes the foot to some degree while still allowing for the basic movements necessary to walk and stand. This type of taping can be very effective because it can help relieve pain and pressure in the area of the fracture. There are also walking boots, similar to casts in some ways, which can be strapped to the leg with Velcro. These boots hold the foot in a fairly rigid position and may be very effective in forcing people to avoid putting pressure on their foot. However, the walking boot is much more restrictive than foot taping can be, so many people prefer to go with taping if at all possible. During recovery, it is usually permissible to take a mild pain reliever like ibuprofen or paracetamol for pain relief if it is needed.
Of course, it is always important to work with a medical professional like a doctor or physical therapist when dealing with a stress fracture of any type. By following the best healing regimen, you’ll be back to doing the sports you love even sooner.