University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus Health Tip of the Week: Runners Stress Fractures

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Athletes train hard to compete, but doing too much can lead to injuries. In this weeks University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus Health Tip of the Week, we discuss Runners Stress Fractures.

”Stress fractures are tiny cracks and severe bruising within the bone. Usually seen in the bones of the lower leg and foot,” David Oaks, PA, TUKHS St. Francis Campus Orthopedics and Sports Medicine said. “They differ from other types of fractures in that they’re caused by repetitive force over time. Rather than sudden injuries like a fall. And they’re common overuse injuries that you see in runners.”

“One of the things that can be associated with stress injuries is the type of surface that a runner is running on. Also things like proper footwear. Footwear that has good cushioning ability. Good arch support. That’s important.”

“One of the things that I think happens is as track and field season gears up, runners try to do too much too fast and sometimes they don’t give muscles enough time to become properly conditioned. And then if muscles become fatigued then they lose the ability to help absorb shock. And then this overload of stress can be transferred to the bone and this can cause a stress injury.”

“The most important advice that we give athletes that have stress fractures is they need to completely rest from the activity that caused it for 6 to 8 weeks because that’s how long it takes the bone to heal.”

Other symptoms of runners stress fractures are swelling in the lower leg or changes in the running form.

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