CAUTION: New Workout Routines Can Lead To Stress Fractures

Everyone is thinking about getting in shape for Spring, and for a lot of people, that includes exercise. Since it is wintertime, that means many will be dragging themselves to the gym and trying new workouts.

One of the most common exercise injuries we see at Lexington Podiatry are stress fractures, and the bone in your heel is a popular location for this type of injury.

Repetitive Exercise

When your bone undergoes different stresses and loads from repetitive exercise, your body lays down new bone over time that can handle these changes.

But if the stress is increased too much in a short time, trauma to the bone occurs.

Most of the stories we hear from patients revolve around one simple issue – they’ve suddenly increased their level of exercise and have placed repetitive stress on the heel.

Runners

This can be as simple as a significant increase in mileage or returning to high mileage after months off.  Another common scenario is starting to play a sport with a lot of weight-bearing stress, especially on hard surfaces. Job changes are also a common cause.

Pain from a stress fracture is gradual and hurts worse with weight bearing.  Sometimes it is painful to squeeze the sides of your heel at the same time.  X-rays don’t often show stress fractures unless healing has started to occur, which can take up to three weeks.

The key to avoiding stress fractures is gradually increasing your exercise.  For novice runners, a common rule is to never increase your mileage more than 10 percent a week.  The human body is very adaptable, but it takes time.

If you are having heel pain, come see us at Lexington Podiatry. For stress fractures, we have many diagnostic tests and can model a treatment plan that best fits your lifestyle.  So give us a call at 859.264.1141 or make an online appointment. 

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