Shin stress fracture

Stress fracture

Stress fractures are difficult to diagnose and can often be mistaken for tendon or muscle strains. `Stress` also gives the idea that excessive running or on the spot training is the cause but it is actually the muscles pulling against the bone, and bone structure under increased strain, may break down and a crack may form. It can be the way you are running for example running around a running track causes you leg muscles to work at different angles on each leg. Also to run up a hill causes the foot to lift up can be responsible for a stress fracture.

Cause of a stress fracture

The cause of a stress fracture is always due to either increased activity of a repetitive kind or perhaps starting an increased training session, or changing routine too quickly without building up gradually, or even changing running surfaces.

Stress fracture symptoms

The symptoms start gradually and you may only notice a slight ache after sport. Eventually you feel pain whilst exercising and even when you walk. The pain can also continue whilst resting.

Recovery for a stress fracture

Rest is essential for recovery, at least for four weeks. Even avoid walking if you can. Swimming, exercises and stretches that don’t involve putting weight on the leg can of course be done to maintain fitness.

Shin stress fracture exercises

After full recovery, simple running in gradual stages should be started. Run for only one mile every other day for the first week and no more than two miles in the second week. Continue with this system until you are running ten miles at the end of ten weeks. If there is any discomfort or pain stop training until the pain has disappeared. If all goes well, you can build up your running distance and start to run more frequently.

Exercises that can re strengthen your calf muscle and build full fitness can be found here best lower leg exercises page.

Protection and prevention

When you return to sport you must start very gently and always warm up adequately. This will bring blood and oxygen to the injured area and also lubricate the joints. Wear training shoes with good cushioning and continue with stretching and swimming. If you feel any pain at all stop you sport until the pain has gone completely. If all is going well then building up running for example can be continued. Gradually build up the distance that you run per day over the period of ten weeks. Do not add more than one mile per day of extra distance per week For example run one mile per day the first week, two miles per day the second week and three the third. It is also important to have rest days between each running day. Avoid any sudden changes in any repetitive sport or training.