Stress Fractures: Causes, Symptoms & Preventive Measures

Stress problem, stressed face,

Stress fracture, also known as the hairline fracture is one of the most prevalent yet the least bothered about bone condition in the world of orthopedics. Stress fractures usually develop due to overuse and neglect of bone health and can manifest themselves as benign pain in the region of the fracture. Unlike general fractures that occur due to one-time severe trauma, hairline fractures are known to develop over time and are caused due to repeated trauma to the same region. Majority of such fractures occur in weight-bearing bones that include those associated with legs and feet. 

The onset of a stress fracture begins with a fatigued muscle that is no longer able to absorb additional weight or shock. This results in the transference of load onto the bone, which in turn causes minor cracks in the bone structure. The condition is mostly diagnosed among athletes, such as tennis player, runners, and cricketers. Usually, the pain in a hairline fraction is minuscule at the start but begins to aggravate as more pressure and shock is borne by the bone. Though the persisting pain in the case of a stress fracture subsides over time with proper rest, however, if the fracture itself ignored then it might lead to more serious bone injuries.
Causes & Reasons for Stress Fractures:

•      Low Bone Density:

Stress or hairline fractures can easily be caused by medical conditions that reduce bone density and strength. Illnesses like osteoporosis and the subsequent regimen of long-term medication can lead to hairline fractures even as you carry out day-to-day activities.  In case of sports, according to various studies, women athletes are known to be more susceptible to stress fractures than male athletes. This particular pattern is the result of a specific medical condition, known as female athlete triad. This particular condition is comprised three interrelated illnesses, namely eating disorders, menstrual dysfunction, and premature osteoporosis that are plague the women athletes, when they opt for extreme dieting or extreme exercises.

•      Miscalculated Techniques:

This particular factor is particularly related to athletes and their training regimen. Most stress fracture related injuries in athletes occur due to change in training techniques and mechanics. As the training methods alter, the force and shock absorbed by the bones also experience a drastic change. This more often than not lead to hairline fractures in the lower leg region and if not treated immediately, run the risk of evolving into more aggravated bone injuries.

•      Surface Revisions:

This specific cause of stress fractures is also most common among athletes and relates primarily to the ones who continuously switch their sporting surfaces and venues. Prevalent among runners and tennis players, the change of surface leads to unbalanced stress on the bones that that quickly transform into hairline fractures. For example, a runner who has switched from a treadmill to a running track is most likely to suffer some form of stress fracture and would need constant medical supervision to ensure that the fracture is diagnosed in its earliest of stages and treated quickly.

Though stress fractures are easy to detect, courtesy x-ray, yet it is always prudent to exercise prevention before cure.  It is highly advisable that you maintain a proper diet that is rich in calcium and Vitamin D to ensure that bones remain strong, thus reducing the chances of contracting hairline fractures. You can start or increase the intake of botanic supplements to improve bone health. One such clinically proven food supplement is, FlexiQule. Featuring natural benefits of ginger and Boswellia, this natural food supplement aids in the maintenance of joints and further reduces the risk of bone injuries. Being an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic, FlexiQule significantly decreases cartilage degradation, thereby ensuring the integrity of the bones.

“The article is based on the information available in public and which the author believes to be true. The author is not disseminating any information, which the author believes or knows, is confidential or in conflict with the privacy of any person. The views expressed or information supplied through this article is mere opinion and observation of the author. The author does not intend to defame, insult or, cause loss or damage to anyone, in any manner, through this article.”

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