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Posts for tag: Stress Fractures

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
August 02, 2016
Category: Foot Care

Find out how to prevent and treat running injuries.

If athletes could have it their way, they would enjoy every mile of their run without experiencing any pain, discomfort or soreness. While this running injuriessounds ideal, it’s sadly not the reality we live in. With uneven and sometimes rough and rocky terrain, runners face a variety of conditions that are tough on their feet and ankles and can cause serious issues. Here are some of the most common running injuries we see and what you can do about them.

Achilles Tendinitis

This condition often occurs because of repeated stress or overuse and affects the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the back of the heel. When a runner develops Achilles tendinitis, this means the tendon is irritated and often stiff.

  • Risk Factors: This condition is usually the result of a sudden increase in training, which can put unnecessary pressure on your calves. While it’s great to push yourself during your workout, you must create realistic goals to prevent injuries.
  • Care: You will want to rest whenever you can and elevate your foot. Apply ice for 10 to 20 minutes a day, several times a day. Also, perform strengthening and stretching exercises like heel drops, and opt for low-­impact cardio instead.
  • Workout Impact: If you notice pain during or after your run you need to halt all activities until your injury is better. This is certainly not a condition that you want to continue to work out with. If you stop your workouts while the condition is still minor, you will have a faster healing time than someone who continues to work out through the pain.

Stress Fractures

Repeated stress and overtraining are the two main causes of these fractures, which can be caused by increasing your workout intensity or duration too fast. They are one of the most serious conditions that runners face.

  • Risk Factors: However, those who’ve been running longer are less at risk for stress fractures than those who just started. Women are also more prone to stress fractures than men, often due to a lack of sufficient calorie intake or other nutritional deficits.
  • Care: Stay off your foot until you can walk without pain. Once this happens, you can slowly incorporate jogging into your routine. You can use OTC pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and swelling. Talk to your podiatrist about whether you may need crutches.
  • Workout Impact: Do not workout while you have a stress fracture. You should take anywhere from eight to 16 weeks away from your workouts. This, of course, will depend on the severity of your fracture. Again, opt for swimming or other low-­impact sports in the meantime.

If you ever experience severe or chronic pain in your feet or ankles it’s important to contact your podiatrist right away. While at-­home care can certainly alleviate your symptoms, if your symptoms affect your day­to­day activities, then it’s time to seek medical attention.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
April 04, 2016
Category: Foot Care

The metatarsal area is one of the most common sites for stress fractures. This article discusses the causes and treatments for these fractures.Metatarsal Stress Fractures

Stress fractures anywhere on the body are caused by repeated forceful activity. Considering that the feet bear a person's body weight for much of the day, they are very susceptible to stress fractures. The long bones in the feet, the metatarsals, are particularly prone to these injuries. But how are they diagnosed, treated and prevented?

Why metatarsal stress fractures happen

Certain activities or conditions can make stress fracturing the metatarsal bones more likely. Athletes who run, dance, or jump are at risk, as are those who suddenly boost their activity level after a long period of idleness. Osteoporosis (a disorder that causes weakness and brittleness of the bones) can also increase the likelihood of stress fractures.

Diagnosis and treatment

Widespread foot pain is usually the first sign of a metatarsal stress fracture. It may disappear with rest at first, but over time, the pain will be continual and concentrated into a specific area of the foot. Because stress fractures can be extremely small, an x-ray may not immediately detect it. Bone scans or MRIs are often more accurate. Special footwear can take the pressure off of the affected area and allow the fracture to heal. Depending on the location of the fracture, a cast may be applied and crutches may be required.

Prevention

Properly-fitted, quality footwear should always be worn during activity to support the feet. Alternating your activities (instead of focusing on one particular, repetitive action) will help to distribute the movements evenly. Diets rich in calcium and Vitamin D will help maintain bone integrity. It is also important to start any new physical activity slowly and work up at a gradual pace.

If you have been experiencing foot pain and believe it may be caused by a metatarsal stress fracture, contact your podiatrist for an evaluation today.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
November 15, 2012
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Stress Fractures  

Stress FracturesStress fractures are notoriously misdiagnosed and under treated. In many cases, symptoms may persist for an extended period of time before the diagnosis of a stress fracture is even made. That’s because stress fractures don’t typically occur from an unforeseen trauma, as with a sprain, but rather from repetitive stress.

Stress fractures are tiny, hairline breaks in the bones. They can occur in any bone, but most often afflict the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. Athletes are especially susceptible to stress fractures, as this common injury is often a problem of overuse.  It frequently results from overtraining and high impact sports, such as running, basketball and tennis.  People with abnormal foot structure or insufficient bone may also be more vulnerable to suffer a stress fracture.

Pain is the primary symptom of a stress fracture. In the early stages, the pain may begin toward the end of an activity and resolve with rest. Untreated, the pain will eventually become persistent with minimal activity.

The most common symptoms of stress fractures include:

  • Pain with or following normal activity
  • Pain at the site of the fracture
  • Tenderness and swelling at a point on the bone
  • Pain intensified with weight bearing

Rest, ice, compression and elevation are recommended as an initial treatment plan for stress fractures. You should also minimize all weight bearing activities until you have fully recovered. Other treatments may include immobilization of the foot, footwear modifications, orthotic devices and in some severe cases, surgery. Rest is the key to a full recovery, and returning too quickly to normal activity may result in more serious damage.

Overuse injuries and stress fractures aren’t completely unavoidable, but you can take extra care to help prevent stress fractures from occurring. Remember to increase any activity or training program slowly and gradually.  Wear supportive footwear with good cushioning to help manage the forces placed on your feet and legs during high impact activities.   If pain or swelling returns, stop the activity and rest for a few days.

Stress fractures come on gradually and may not present obvious symptoms at first, so it’s important to recognize the early warning signs to prevent further damage.  If you suspect a stress fracture, contact our Fairfax office right away for an evaluation. Proper diagnosis is essential to prevent further damage and improve recovery time as stress fractures tend to get worse and may even lead to a complete break if not treated right away. A podiatrist will examine your foot or ankle, take an x-ray to determine if there is a break or crack in the bone, and recommend an appropriate treatment plan for optimal recovery.



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