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What you Need to Know about Stress Fractures.

Stress fracture is a common injury among runners and athletes, or generally among people who are very active. Stress fracture is a tiny fracture on the outside of the bones. Due to its small size, stress fractures are sometimes not detectable even through an X-ray scan. However, there are ways to tell if what you have developed is a stress fracture or not on your own.

How to know if you have a stress fracture?

You can tell if you have a stress fracture if:

• There is swelling along the top of your foot. Usually the swelling progresses with time.
• For stress fractures in the feet, when you press down on to the metatarsal bones (bones in your foot directly behind the toe bones or phalanges) there’s a shooting pain.

• Bruising, along with swelling, is a particularly bad sign

This can hold true for other parts of the body such as leg or shoulders where sudden development of a radiating pain leads you to take a break from physical activity which you would normally be able to do.

Bones Most Susceptible to stress fractures 

Body parts most vulnerable to stress fracture injury are:
Metatarsal bones
Navicular bone in the foot
• The calcaneous, or heel bone
• Tibia, also known as the shin bone, is the frontal leg bone

Other than these, shoulders and elbows can also develop stress fractures, especially among athletes who overwork these bones such as baseball players.

Causes of Stress fractures

There is no single defined cause for stress fractures. Normally, stress fractures develop as a result of overuse of a particular muscle. They can also be caused by sudden physical shock to a ligament or bone. Sudden changes in exercise or workout regimen can be the cause too. Other than young active individuals, postmenopausal women are also at risk of developing stress fractures due to the changes in bone density.

What you Need to do?

Most stress fractures do heal on their own, but it depends on the placement of the injury, and the precautions you have taken afterwards. When it comes to bone fractures and muscle pains, it can be difficult to identify the cause on your own. Stress fracture, even though a comparatively small injury in the start should not be taken lightly. Do not delay seeking medical help. Get checkup from an orthopedist or podiatrist as soon as possible.

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