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Stress Fractures Physiotherapy: Symptoms & Treatment

Stress fractures are a common overuse injury among athletes, resulting from repetitive microtrauma to bones. Early detection and proper management through a combination of rest, immobilization, and gradual return to activity are crucial for successful recovery and prevention of recurrence.

As indicated in the Fractures section, stress fractures are a type of fracture that can occur due to repetitive stress in one area affecting the bone and causing a crack or break in it. Stress fractures begin as tiny cracks, but will continue to worsen if not given the time they need to heal. They can occur because of overuse or improper use, causing the bone to be under extra stress that it cannot take. They can occur when the volume or intensity of activity is too high or increased too drastically too quickly. They can also occur if recovery time between workouts is too short, not allowing sufficient rest and healing time. Finally, where nutrition is insufficient for high levels of training, bones can be missing certain minerals, leaving them more vulnerable to stress fractures. 

Stress fractures typically begin with a gradual onset of pain that improves with rest. Swelling and pain may also be present.

The most common location for a stress fracture is the foot or ankle. Stress fractures are very small and will often be missed by an X-Ray. If a stress fracture is suspected, a doctor may refer you for additional imaging such as an MRI or a Bone Scan to confirm the diagnosis.

The main treatment for stress fractures is rest. If the injury has progressed, a brace, walking boot, or crutches may be needed to allow the bone time to heal. Your Physiotherapist or Athletic Therapist can help guide you through the rehabilitation process keeping in mind the restrictions at different stages of healing. They can provide you with a strengthening program for other areas of your body that may positively affect the injury site and advise mild exercises that are allowed while you are waiting for it to heal. They can also provide you with a plan and strengthening program to help you prepare to be active again and also reduce stress on the area once back to activity. When it is safe to do so, they can help mobilize the joints around the stress fracture, release the tension in the soft tissues and restore normal range of motion.

As with all injuries, this information is simply a guide, and it is always best to check in with a Physiotherapist or Athletic Therapist to have a personalized assessment and hear recommendations for what you and your body may specifically need.

Contact Us For Help

Inertia Physio+ offers Kanata and Stittsville exceptional Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy and Registered Massage Therapy with private treatment rooms, one on one care, a maximum of two patients per hour and treatment focused on the evidence based practices of manual and exercise therapy.   Don’t suffer any longer.  If you have pain or injury, our Kanata and Stittsville Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy and Registered Massage Therapy team is here to help you get back to life pain free life and activities.  Please reach out to us at (613) 672-2200 or for an appointment today!  You are also welcome to book online. We also offer direct billing on Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy services whenever your plan allows.


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