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  • Writer's pictureJon Duellman PT

Bone Stress Injuries and Stress Fractures: More Common than You Think.

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

Stress fractures are detrimental to a runner's season. Often times pain in the shin or foot can end a runner's goals of a future race, marathon, IronMan, etc.

Don't let this injury end your Summer and Running Season!

What is a Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures are bone injuries where the bone is damaged over time. It causes pain in the bone due to microscopic damage to the bone. We usually think of fractures as a bone break from trauma. In this case, it often is a period of increased activity like running, jumping, or other vigorous activity. Stress fractures are influenced primarily by activity but are also related to nutrition and other medical conditions.

What happens when you get a Stress Fracture?

It often starts as vague pain you can't touch in the bony area commonly the front of the shin or foot bones. It progresses as stress continues such as increasing a running program. Soon it can cause pain even while walking. In late stages, it can break but more often a doctor visit recommends to wear a walking boot to reduce stress for weeks to months.

What is a Bone Stress Injury?

Bone stress injuries are the initial stages before long term damage is done. It is the first stage of pain which can be what is commonly called shin splints. Again, it doesn't seem painful enough to stop but eventually progresses further and can stop you. This is a CRITICAL stage to have a plan on what to do to prevent a fracture and time away from running. This is why a good clinical exam can save you from lots of trouble

How can I PREVENT these injures?

Most injuries are preventable, overuse related injuries. The biggest way to prevent these injuries is have a plan with your activity. A guideline is increasing your weekly running mileage by 10% or less. This is not specific to any goals. If you are planning on particular race, marathon, iron man, etc., you will likely need a more complicated plan to meet your goals.

What Makes Bones Stronger for Prevention?

  • Resistance Training - weight lifting and other weight bearing exercise

  • Jumping Exercise - jump rope, agility training, and basic exercises help prepare bones for running.

  • Running does improve bone strength but OVER TRAINING causes the bone to not recover adequately. So you need a GOOD plan.

  • What does NOT Work? Swimming, Yoga, Walking - They aren't enough to build bones truly strong enough for activity like running.

If you are having pain and want answers, email me to set up a FREE consult to discuss your situation and get back to your life.



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