Athletes, particularly runners, are all over the Metairie and New Orleans areas. Plenty of races here keep runners of all levels training for the next event, and plenty of people find other running paths to enjoy around our communities. One thing no runner enjoys, however, is a stress fracture. Most athletes have a fairly high pain tolerance and will exercise while in pain with the hope that it’s a temporary problem that will disappear on its own. Unfortunately, this injury needs treatment to get better. Knowing the signs of a stress fracture can help you get the care you need before the problem gets worse, and will allow you to return to your activities more quickly.
Stress fractures are thin cracks that develop in a weight-bearing bone from too much stress. Usually overuse from repetitive hard impacts is the underlying issue, which is why runners and other athletes are so prone to the condition. Continuing to exercise on a cracked bone prevents it from healing and could potentially make the issue worse, so recognizing the signs of a stress fracture and then getting treated could help you deal with the problem quickly and avoid an overly-long recovery period.
Here are a few signs your pain while running is from cracks in your bones:
Slowly increasing pain – Since this is an overuse injury, the discomfort starts small and builds over time. Usually it’s focused in a specific area.
Feels worst under pressure – You will feel most uncomfortable when you’re active and putting pressure on your feet. Standing and walking may be enough to trigger discomfort, too.
Some swelling – You may notice the painful area appears somewhat swollen and puffy.
Tenderness in a specific spot – Typically it will be particularly tender to the touch around the specific bone that is cracked.
Occasionally these injuries develop bruising as well, especially if it’s more serious, but that isn’t a guaranteed symptom of the problem.
Nearly all stress fractures can be treated conservatively, and the sooner the problem is addressed, the easier it is to manage, and the faster you’ll get back to running. Don’t risk making the problem worse by ignoring your pain. Contact Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC for an appointment to have your discomfort evaluated. You can reach us by calling (504) 708-4810.