If you love to run or train in a sport that involves running, like track, cross country or soccer, you can suffer a stress fracture. These are overuse injuries, meaning you can avoid them. In this video, I discuss some simple steps you can take to avoid a stress fracture.
Don’t increase your training too quickly.
Ramping up your training too fast is possibly the most common mistake leading to a stress fracture. Your body doesn’t have a chance to recover from the increased stress. Instead, increase your distance, speed or intensity slowly over a period of many weeks.
Set realistic goals when training for a competition.
If you want to compete in a marathon or half-marathon, but you need to increase your training a lot to be ready, give yourself enough time to prepare. Figure out when you need to start training so that you have enough time to safely increase your training.
Rest for a few days when pain starts.
Most stress fractures start as a dull, nagging pain, but it isn’t bad enough to stop training. Over time, though, that pain can become a stress reaction or a stress fracture if you keep training on it. Instead, take a few days off to see if the pain gets better. If it doesn’t get better, then see a doctor to find out the cause and take steps.
Optimize your bone density.
Many stress fractures occur in active people with inadequate bone density. If you have suffered a stress fracture in the past, or if you are at risk for one because of your age or medical history, talk to your doctor about getting a bone density study.