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Stress Fracture – How To Manage Them

Stress fractures can be a frustrating injury that can put you out of action for long. However, managing them safely and promptly can enhance your recovery. In this blog, we share more about how to manage the stress fracture.

What Is a Stress Fracture?

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. After that, new bone tissue is laid down on the weakened area to make it stronger than before. Furthermore, the bone becomes 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 bone 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 fracture.

How To Manage Injury

  • Identifying Contributing Factors

A cause for a stress fracture could be multifactorial. These include issues ranging from a bone health issue to an inappropriate loading of the bone. Therefore, it is important to work together with your specialist heath practitioner to identify these possible contributing factors. This will allow these factors to be addressed as part of your recovery process.

  • Reduce Loading

More loading than the bone can cope with causes a stress fracture, it is important to have a period of reduced loading. This will allow the bone tissue to recover and lay over the fracture. However, this does not necessarily require to reduce to no loading at all.

  • Ultrasound Therapy

Additionally, another method used here at Elevate Physiotherapy is ultrasound therapy (image below). By using low intensity pulsed ultrasound waves, research shows that it can stimulate bone healing in fresh fractures as well.

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!

 

Winsen Citra

Principal Physiotherapist

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Sources:

Bashardoust Tajali S, Houghton P, MacDermid JC, Grewal R. Effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound therapy on fracture healing: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Apr;91(4):349-67. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31822419ba. PMID: 21904188. Image