Bournemouth Physiotherapy
telephone: 01202 296969

Stress Fracture


The cells within the bones of our body are constantly changing in response to the loads that we put through them.  We try to maintain a balance between the breakdown of our bone (osteoclast activity) and the creation of new bone (osteoblast activity).  When we place a bone under excessive load we create a stress response, which causes microscopic damage, which weakens the bone. This is followed by formation of new bone cells to strengthen the weakened area.  If the bone is stressed again before there has been a chance for the production of new bone cells, then further microscopic damage can occur making the the bone weaker.  If this cycle persists without sufficient time and rest for the formation of new bone to strengthen the area, then the microscopic damage can result in a fracture.

Symptoms:
The stress reaction is a two way continuum that can lead to a stress fracture.
In the early stages pain may not be evident during activity.
Pain can then start to become evident towards the end of an activity which settles with rest.
As you progress through the continuum, pain can come on earlier into activity and take longer to settle while becoming more localised.
Common areas effected:
Bones in the foot including: Metatarsals, Navicular and Calcaneous
Tibia (Shin bone)
Fibular
Femoral neck
Pubic Ramus of the pelvis
Pars articularis (a part of the lumbar vetebra bone)
If you think you might be suffering from a stress response or stress fracture then it is important to have an assessment to establish the best course of management.
Management could include:
Adjusting training loads/activity levels
Muscle Strengthening
Assessing movement control
Temporary immobilisation
We may need to refer you to your GP or an ankle/foot consultant for further assessment and investigations.  We are fortunate to have good links with all local GP practices and Orthopaedic Consultants.
If you would like additional information then please  contact us.





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