Episode 10: What are stress fractures?
A stress fracture is a tiny crack in a bone that usually happens from overuse. Putting repetitive strain on bones can break them down. Resting gives bones a chance to rebuild, the way muscles do. But when someone increases the amount of strain — as can happen when running farther or starting a new sport —sometimes the body can't keep up. The bones can't handle the added stress, and they start to develop tiny cracks called "microfractures." These can lead to stress fractures.
SOME TREATMENTS: If noticed early and treated correctly, most stress fractures will heal by themselves in a matter of weeks. But if someone resumes activities too soon, tiny stress fractures can become larger and harder to heal. Re-injuring a stress fracture can also lead to a painful, long-lasting condition where the fracture might never fully heal.