Stress fractures are known as overuse injuries, as they typically arise from continued use of the feet and ankles, such as in sports and various physical activities. They can be very painful, but also treatable and preventable in many cases. Here is more information about this condition.
Signs of a Foot or Ankle Stress Fracture
It helps to first understand the potential signs of a stress fracture, since pain of the foot or ankle can be from so many different types of conditions. Pain is the most common sign, but you may not experience it all the time. It is usually pain or discomfort during a certain activity, which tells you that activity is likely also one of the causes. For example, if you have been running each evening after dinner, you might notice the pain begin when you have been running for a few minutes. This indicates a stress fracture, since it only started hurting while running. A traditional fracture or break would hurt continuously. If the pain goes away after you stop running and rest for a few minutes, it is probably a stress fracture.
What causes this type of injury?
There is more to the cause of a stress fracture than simply performing a physical activity repeatedly, since many people participate in them and never get this type of injury. Stress fractures occur when your bones change to adapt to the environment, which is something that happens to everyone. However, with this type of injury, the bones are changing due to a rapid alteration of your activity. For example, if you are running and suddenly switch intensity or speed, that could be the cause of the fracture since your bones need more time to adjust to the change. You may also be at a higher risk of getting a stress fracture if you aren't eating a diet with an adequate amount of nutrients.
How are stress fractures treated?
Getting enough rest is one of the first things you can do to help your stress fracture. Try reducing physical activity for a short time to give your ankle and foot bone enough time to heal. Icing the area reduces inflammation and can also help with the pain. You might also want to try custom orthotics. These will adjust to where you are bearing weight and can make it easier to stand and walk if the pain is continuing even after you have gotten rest. This can also be a good preventative measure. Speak to a podiatrist, like http://www.footfirstpodiatrycl.com, about getting orthotics.