Stress fractures in the foot are a serious injury for runners. These fractures occur due to repetitive stress to the bone, which results in a fracture developing. This injury can take months to heal, which means no running or major activity for the damaged foot at all. The following mistakes can make the damage worse and slow healing.
#1: Ignoring persistent pain
Unlike other running injuries, which may come and go or vary in intensity, stress fractures are relatively persistent and the pain steadily increases as the fracture becomes more serious. If you feel a burning ache in a localized part of your foot that increases in intensity when you push on it, then you may have caught a fracture during its early stages. Seeing a podiatrist for an official diagnosis can get you off your feet and healing before it becomes a full fracture, which in turn will lower the recovery time. Ignoring the pain until you are feeling it even when you are sitting down will result in a longer recovery time or even a recurring problem.
#2: Not following your recovery plan
It's vital that you stick to your recovery plan so you don't end up with an even worse injury. For minor fractures, this usually means staying off the foot as much as possible for a prescribed amount of time. For a more severe stress fracture, you may need to use crutches or wear a soft boot. Your plan may also include exercise activities to help you maintain your fitness level while keeping you off your feet, such as swimming or upper body work. Do not try to get back into any training regime that puts weight on the fracture, and stay clear of any fitness activities with your podiatrist before continuing.
#3: Skipping preventative measures
In some cases, stress fractures can be indicative of other issues, which means you need to take steps now to make sure you don't end up with another fracture. Ask your doctor to perform a bone density test, since lack of bone density can increase your chances of developing a fracture. Calcium supplements and increasing your lower body muscle mass can help increase your bone density. Your podiatrist can also check your weight distribution and look for issues with your feet or how you bear weight to see if this is putting undue stress on the bones. In this case, custom orthotics for your running shoes can prevent future fractures.
For more help, contact a podiatrist in your area. To learn more, contact a company like Advanced Foot Clinic.