Stress fractures form as a consequence of accumulated tension on the bone, as opposed to an acute fracture that occurs due to a slip or fall. Stress fractures in the tibias (shin), metatarsals (feet), and calcaneus (foot) are the most common in runners (heels). They’re one of the most devastating of all running injuries, with nearly 6% of poll respondents have experienced once in the previous year.
WHO’S AT RISK?
Some runners who overwork themselves, their bones require rest to regenerate. If you increase the length, intensity, or frequency of your running too quickly, your bones will not be able to keep up. Women are more likely than males to suffer from stress fractures caused by dietary deficiencies, low estrogen levels, and insufficient calorie consumption. Fortunately, weight-bearing activity like jogging and running is protective, so you’ve got that going for you. According to Dr. Price, the longer you’ve been running, the lower your risk is.
CAN YOU RUN THROUGH IT?
In a nutshell, no. Expect to be out of commission for eight to sixteen weeks. The length of time you must rest is determined by the severity of the fracture and its location. Weight-bearing bones, such as those in the foot, heal more slowly than those in the shin. And, according to Merrill, if you ignore the discomfort for a long time before realizing you had a fracture, your recovery may take longer. All high-impact exercises should be avoided. Instead, go for a pool run or a swim.
Pay attention to your body.
“Once you can walk without pain,” Dr. Price advises, “you can attempt a little bit of jogging.” “However, if the agony persists, you must take a step back. It’s critical that you gradually increase your mileage—start with a few minutes.”
PREVENT A RELAPSE
Weight exercise can help you gain bone density, but be sure you’re receiving enough calories and nutrients. Running surfaces, contrary to common assumptions, do not appear to make a difference.
“It makes obvious that jogging on soft surfaces like grass would be better than jogging on highways,” Price adds, “but studies have not supported this.”
Pool running might help some persons with stress fractures maintain their fitness.
“Deena Kastor had to take six weeks off after breaking a bone in her foot during the 2008 Olympic Marathon,” Price recalls. “She stayed in shape by sprinting in the pool every day.”
She ran a 2:28 Chicago Marathon in 2009 after recovering from her injury.
Bone Scan: How to Proceed
- Stop: If the pain gets worse while you’re running—it doesn’t simply hurt when you’re running but it’s exhausting merely to be on your feet.
- Caution: There is no such thing as a middle ground in this situation. You’re either in the red zone and should take a break from running, or you’re in the green zone and can proceed.
- Run: When you’re pain-free during a run and have no residual ache afterward, even though you’ve been on your feet all day.