A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone, often caused by repeated impact, most often from running or jumping for extended periods. They are particularly common in your feet because these areas take a lot of the impact when you move.

What does a stress fracture feel like?

You can’t begin to act on a stress fracture until you know you have one – and if you don’t, you risk making the injury worse. It’s therefore very important to understand the signs that you may have this type of injury.

  • The pain from a stress fracture is typically concentrated in a specific area rather than spreading around your foot. It may have a burning feel, or it may be more of an ache.
  • It’s common for early-stage stress fractures to feel like much more minor complaints, with no obvious signs of injury visible on the affected foot.
  • If you continue to put weight on the injured foot, the pain will get worse. Eventually, you’ll find that it hurts even when you’re resting your foot completely.

What should you do?

The key thing with stress fractures is to catch them as early as possible. This will not only minimize the amount of pain you will have to endure, it will also give you the best chance of avoiding complications which could lead to long-lasting or even permanent damage.

  • Stress fractures should always be taken seriously: never ignore them or hope they’ll get better on their own. Always see a professional, who will recommend the best treatment for you.
  • Your podiatrist will tell you how to help the healing process. Surgery is only necessary in a few cases, usually when the injured area has limited blood circulation.\
  • While your foot is healing, you may need to use crutches or wear special braces or boots. These may be uncomfortable, but it’s important that you use them as directed.