Can you believe a new school year is already about to begin? With that comes a whole new season for sports, including football, soccer and basketball.
But with a new sport season also comes an increased risk of injuries. That’s why our team at Parkridge Bone & Joint wants to share some insight about one of the most common injuries among athletes—stress fractures
What Causes a Stress Fracture?
A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone or severe bruising within a bone, which is caused by overuse or fatigue of the bone.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a stress fracture can take up to six to eight weeks to heal. No young athlete wants to spend that much time out of the game! So it’s important to take steps to prevent the injury in the first place.
Stress fractures often occur when athletes begin to increase their activity level, such as with practicing more frequently. When you don’t give your body the rest it needs, you are risking harm on your body. If you suddenly begin being more physically active than usual, you are at risk of developing stress fractures, which most commonly occur in the feet, shins and ankles.
Besides a sudden increase or change in activity level, changing the type of surface you’re working out on can also increase your chances of suffering from a stress fracture. For instance, when you are used to running on a treadmill during the winter, it can be hard to adjust to the cement on a running track outside or on a path.
One other thing to keep an eye on? Wearing the wrong shoes can cause a stress fracture to develop. Wearing shoes that aren’t appropriate for the sporting activity you’re participating in can put your body in an uncomfortable position, causing you to bend or move awkwardly.
Be Aware of the Signs of a Stress Fracture
Unfortunately, no matter how much you try to prevent stress fractures, they can still occur. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the signs of a stress fracture so you can seek medical attention at the earliest stage possible.
- Pain that diminishes during rest
- Pain that occurs—and often gets worse—during normal activities
- Swelling around the affected area
- Tenderness at the site of the fracture
If you believe you or your child has a stress fracture, rest and apply ice to the affected area until you can seek medical attention. Then, depending on severity of your injury, physical therapy and other treatment methods might be recommended.
Are you worried your athlete has suffered a stress fracture? Visit the Parkridge Bone & Joint Orthopedic Urgent Care today for a medical evaluation by one of our professionals. Remember, no appointment is necessary!