3 Signs of Bone Stress Injuries

Running, Uncategorized, Blog, / By Koh Peh Chia

Bone stress injuries are a common injury amongst people especially in those who have started physical activity. It commonly affect ones function and levels of activity. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help to manage the symptoms of bone stress injuries. Today we are going to talk about 3 symptoms that you may have if it is a bone stress injury.

What Is a Bone Stress Injury?

In normal healthy bone, activities that involves loading, such as running, jumping and resistance training stimulate the production of bone cells to cope with the load. To understand bone stress injuries come about, we need to know how the bone cell is produced.

Firstly, the body breaks down portions of the bone. This temporarily weakens the bone and new bone tissue is laid down on the weakened area to make it stronger than it was before it. Furthermore, the bone is denser and more adapted to the activities that involve the increase in load. However, if we continue high loading or impact activities during this time without giving adequate recovery and time for the new born tissue to lay, the bone will start to accumulate small fractures over time. The bone can eventually break down and turn into a bone stress injury. 

Bone stress injuries can be a range, starting from a stress reaction, progressing to a stress fracture and finally a complete bone fracture. As the injury progresses, the longer it is to recover. Therefore, early recognition of symptoms is crucial.

3 Signs of Bone Stress Injuries

  1. Gradual Onset of Pain with activity

In the early stages, pain can be a mild ache that gets better on rest. However, if the stress reaction progresses, pain may be felt during any loading or even at rest.

  1. Tender to touch and localized pain

The pain you feel during a bone stress injury is usually localized around the site of injury. Upon touch, it can also be very tender.

  1. Localized Swelling and Bruising

Finally, in severe cases of bone stress injuries, bruising and swelling can also be visible at the site of injury.

If you are starting to feel any of above signs and symptoms, do seek help early from our physiotherapists. Early diagnosis and treatment will help delay the exacerbation of the symptoms and prevent a severe bone stress injury. Don’t leave it too late or endure the pain as it could only get worse

As always, should you have any questions, talk to us, or fill in the form below. Do check outour Instagram page!

[wpforms id=”2414″ title=”false” description=”false”]



Warden, S., Davis, I., & Fredericson, M. (2014). Management and Prevention of Bone Stress Injuries in Long-Distance Runners. Journal Of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy44(10), 749-765. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2014.5334